Job Training Programs
Job Training Programs and Workforce Development Programs seek to improve worker employability and earnings, increase self-sufficiency, and connect job seekers with training opportunities and vocational rehabilitation services.
Generally, job training and work development programs can be described as one of the following:
- Some opportunities are available through Government Programs that are state and/or federally funded, seek to improve employability for workers re-entering the workforce and individuals who lack access or where a gap in workforce exists.
- Some Work Exposure Programs offer structured comprehensive supports such as on-the-job experiences, credit, stipend, and mentorship to enhance your career goals.
- Some Educational Institutions provide job-specific coursework, either on site or through distance learning to improve worker employability.
How to Pursue This Pathway
If you have an industry in mind, begin your research to learn more about the jobs that are available in that field and the type of training that will be required, if any.
Consider these questions:
- Is the career in demand?
Consider visiting the Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook to see if the industry that interests you is growing or not, and to review national and regional wage information by industry.
- What duties does the job entail?
A job description can provide you with a summary of an employer’s needs and expectations.
- What sort of experience, degree, certification or licensing is required?
Knowing the type of credentials that an employer requires for a desired role can guide your approach and next steps.
Get to know the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA)
- Policy. On July 22, 2014, former President Obama signed H.R. 803 Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, commonly referred to as WIOA. It is designed to strengthen and improve the nation's workforce by helping get people into jobs and careers, including youth (ages 16-24) and those with physical, intellectual, and developmental disabilities.
- Programs. Most job training programs are funded by the US Department of Labor – Employment & Training Administration (ETA). They are delivered primarily through the American Job Center Network and tailored to local economies.
- WIOA Opportunities for Youth. The Department of Labor Division of Youth Services is primarily responsible for coordinating youth-related workforce programs including:
Other Workforce Development Opportunities
If a job training program is a postsecondary option that interests you, consider taking these next steps:
- Before you start. Decide if a specific type of job-training program is right for you.
- Research industries that are of interest to you. If you have an industry in mind, begin your research to learn more about the jobs available in that field and the type of training that will be required, if any.
- Find a job-training program. Search for an opportunity. Contact the provider or program sponsor for more information.
- Apply. Apply directly to the institution or program sponsor.
- Interview. Be ready for an interview, if one is required. Get help creating a resume and cover letter, and preparing for interviews.
Sources of Information
In general, information published by these sources is both current and reliable.
- Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA) - A landmark legislation that is designed to strengthen and improve our nation's public workforce system and help get Americans, including youth and those with significant barriers to employment, into high-quality jobs and careers and help employers hire and retain skilled workers.
- Chicagoland Career Pathways - A free and open website where young adults and their guides (parents, teachers, counselors, mentors) across Chicagoland can learn about free or low-cost training and certification programs that can lead to rewarding employment. The directory is searchable by career field, eligibility requirements, certification/credential, location, and more. The directory is a resource for adults finishing GED programs as well.
- Skills for Chicagoland’s Future - A public-private partnership working to match businesses that have current, unmet hiring needs with qualified, unemployed and underemployed job seekers.
- Indian & Native American WIOA Programs - Directories managed by the US Department of Labor.
- WIOA Youth Formula Program - A comprehensive youth employment program for serving eligible youth, ages 14-24, who face barriers to education, training, and employment.
- YouthBuild Program - A community-based pre-apprenticeship program that provides job training and educational opportunities for at-risk youth ages 16-24 who have previously dropped out of high school.
- Reentry Employment Opportunities - A program that provides funding for justice-involved youth and young adults and adults who were formerly incarcerated.
- Trade Adjustment Assistance - TAA petitions must be properly completed and filed with the appropriate state and federal offices. Online filing is preferred as it ensures all fields are appropriately filled out, automatically notifies the state and federal offices, and ensures information is readable.
- Dislocated/Rapid Response - Information on the means to maintain an income (unemployment insurance), information on health insurance options, access to skills upgrading and training resources, and much more.
- AmeriCorps - Places thousands of people into intensive service positions where they learn valuable skills, earn money for education, and develop a strong sense of civic responsibility.
- Job Corps - The largest FREE residential education and job training program for your adults ages 16-24.
- Idealist: Action without Borders - A nonprofit organization based in New York. Working with others, in a spirit of generosity and mutual respect to help build a world where all people can lead free and dignified lives.
- Year Up - Connects young adults who need opportunity with companies who need their talent.
- Certification Finder - A Career One Stop tool that helps you find the right certification to boost your qualifications.
- CCC Workforce & Economic Development - A department within the Office of Strategy and Institutional Intelligence at City Colleges of Chicago. It consists of three divisions: College to Careers, Career Services, and Workforce Academy.
- IDES Offices - Offices throughout the State of Illinois of the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).
- Find IL Jobs - A comprehensive job search site administered by Illinois.gov.
- CareerOneStop - Find Training - Find training programs, colleges, and universities in your local area.
- USA Jobs - USAJOBS is a United States Office of Personnel Management website.
- Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) - This form is used to apply for federal financial aid for college, career schools, or grad school.
- FSA ID - A username and password that gives you access to Federal Student Aid’s online systems and can serve as your legal signature. Only create an FSA ID using your own personal information and for your own exclusive use.
- FSA Pubs - The office of Federal Student Aid provides publications, fact sheets, online tools, and other resources to help you prepare and pay for college or career school. Resources are grouped by topics.
- Illinois Postsecondary Handbook - A reference source produced by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) to provide general admission and financial aid information about Illinois postsecondary institutions. Please check with each institution for exact costs.
- Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) - The state’s college access and financial aid agency.
- Naviance for CPS - A tool that enables students in grades 6 through 12 to conduct comprehensive college and career planning. Use your CPS username and password to login.
- Alternate Application for Illinois Financial Aid (for qualifying undocumented and transgender students) - Effective January 2020, the IL RISE Act permits state aid to be awarded to persons who are not otherwise eligible for federal financial aid, including, but not limited to transgender students and noncitizen students who have not obtained lawful US permanent residence.
- SAT - Find out tests dates and information on what kinds of questions you’ll see and what the test measures.
- CPS Academic Works - Complete the General Application to begin reviewing scholarship applications.
- CPS Scholarship Alert Workbook - Search for scholarships.