Being unemployed is one of the worst conditions anyone can face, with no money coming in and no prospects. However, being unemployable because you don't have the skills, experience, or work history to present to prospective employers is even worse. If you find yourself in that situation, there are remedies available from federal, state, and private industry.
A special option you may not know about.
There is a special option available in many states if you are currently, or are about to receive unemployment benefits. You may be able to extend the length of your unemployment benefits by enrolling in training programs available in your state. Check with your state's Department of Labor to see if a program is available, and if you qualify.
If you're not currently receiving benefits.
There are many options available for training, at all levels. Many private companies offer job training that can be performed 100% online, with flexible scheduling options available. These programs ordinarily are not free, but there are options available to help you finance your training. An online search will turn up a wealth of them.
Many colleges, universities and other institutions offer valuable job training, and the Federal Government has grants available for undergraduates. For example, the Federal Pell Grant program can help pay for undergraduate courses at universities and colleges, technical and trade schools, and other institutions. You may qualify for up to $5,500 in benefits. Because this is a grant, and not a loan, you do not have to pay it back.
Sure about your intended career?
If you're unsure about the kind of job you feel is right for you, mynextmove.org is an excellent source for information. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, it will walk you through the process of choosing what career is best for you based on your desires, skills, and abilities.
Earn while you learn: a great option.
Internships and apprenticeships are available from many employers. While these are generally unpaid or lightly paid positions, they provide on-the-job training, and in many cases can lead to a full-time paid position. Many helpful guides and websites are also available to help in your search for training. Careeronestop.org, for example, has links to apprenticeship programs, employment networks, job corps centers, and many other useful websites. There are also many employment websites that list jobs across the United States. Among these jobs are opportunities that provide paid on-the-job training for qualified applicants.
Who you are dictates a number of training opportunities. For example, if you're a Native American, Hawaiian, Alaskan, there are a number of employment and training services available. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Section 166 grantees and the Department of Labor provide "quality employment and training services to tribes, tribal organizations, Alaska Native entities, Indian controlled organizations and Native Hawaiian organizations serving unemployed and low income Native Americans, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians." Find out more at doleta.gov, a Department of Labor's website.
If you're a veteran, check out nearly 2,500 American Job Centers at the Department of Labor's website, which give resources for both veteran job-seekers and employment and training program providers.
Your area probably has one or more tech and/or trade schools; they're an excellent way to get the training you need to apply for and succeed in a specific line of work. Relatively inexpensive, their classes are taught by men and women who have successful on-the-job experience in the type of work they're teaching about.
Many states, in conjunction with the Federal Government, provide employment help and job training to residents who are unemployed or wanting to expand their skill set. Benefits are available to all citizens, including senior citizens, those who are disabled, veterans, and others. Qualified applicants can receive on-the-job training and work experience. Chosen applicants may be placed in non-profit organizations like schools, day-care centers, hospitals, and state or federal government entities. This gives them the opportunity to receive training and collect a paycheck while they hone existing skills or learn new ones.
Whatever your reason for being unemployed, there are many options available to give you the knowledge and experience you need to confidently approach prospective employers. Most of these options are available without cost; it's simply a matter of using existing resources to find the ones that are right for you.
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