The latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show 2011 ended with an 8.5 percent unemployment rate; that's 13.1 million Americans out of work. And more than 5 million of them have been that way for at least six months.
Going without a job for that long can make it tough to get back on your feet. But if you're ready for some help, there's a lot out there. Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson takes a look at three places to find free job training and leads. Check it out, and then read on for more.
As you just heard, even if jobs are in short supply, there's no shortage of help in locating and training for them. Here's a recap of those resources Stacy mentioned…
Although the program is designed for older job-seekers, their website has lots of information anyone can access, including advice on organizing and updating a resume, where to look for work, and links to lots of tutorials on basic computer skills.
Related to the WorkSearch program are AARP's Training Assistance Program (TAP) and Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), both of which are restricted by age and income guidelines. TAP is for those over 40 and helps find and pay for job training; SCSEP helps people 55 and older find community service and nonprofit work. Contact the closest AARP Foundation office to see if you can enroll; there's a list of AARP WorkSearch locations online.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, this site (and its brick-and-mortar cousins) offer thorough online resources for job seekers. On top of state job banks, there are links to private and government-sponsored job searches. There's information for veterans, resume templates, searchable data on average occupational salaries in your area, advice on relocating, and plenty more. If that's not enough, their service locator will help you find a One-Stop Career Center near you so you can get some free one-on-one assistance. (This is where Stacy was standing in the video above - at a local One-Stop Career Center.)
This isn't just a thrift store chain. Goodwill maintains job-training centers too. They do all the usual things like help build resumes, practice interviews, offer advice on dressing properly and what employers want. They also offer training "for jobs in health care, IT, retail sales and management, food services, banking, manufacturing and more," according to their jobs and careers site. Thinking beyond just hunting for a job, Goodwill can also help you locate childcare, counseling, and transportation. Here's the online Goodwill locator for finding the nearest staffing services location.
Small Business Administration
We often get asked, Is There Legitimate Work From Home? And the answer is yes, but scams are everywhere and the real stuff's not only difficult to find, but often hard to make a living from. But if you want to start your own work-from-home business, there's help for that.
The U.S. Small Business Administration has lots of guidance on thinking through new business ideas and learning how to operate one. If you need funding, they can help you find loans and grants. They also offer counseling, mentoring, online training, and frequent local workshops through business centers and their SCORE program. The workshops often carry a fee, but many of their services don't. Visit SBA Direct to locate your nearest office.
Bottom line? There's plenty of free help out there, and if you're among the long-term unemployed, you need all you can get. Want an extra edge? Check out 5 Tech Tips That Will Help You Land Your Next Job.
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