If you've just been laid off, you may feel lost and overwhelmed. It's natural to feel a range of emotions, from worry to frustration to anger. The best way to move forward is to make a plan and focus on your future.
The good news is that you may be eligible for a workforce grant to help you train for a new career. Unemployment training can help you take charge of your future and build a better life.
Here are five steps you can take to get started:
Call your local American Job Center to find out if you qualify for a workforce grant to pay for unemployment training. Every state has its own guidelines, but you may be eligible if you have been laid off and can benefit from additional training. You need to be over 14, and you may need to be a US citizen in some states. You may also need to be eligible to receive unemployment compensation or have received it in the past.
Once you determine if you're eligible for training funds, take some time to think about careers that interest you. Of course, you'll also want to make sure you train for a career that pays well, is growing, and is in high demand. The Occupational Outlook Handbook is an excellent place to look for information about jobs. Healthcare and information technology careers (IT) offer a variety of roles and are always in demand.
Spend some time looking for eligible programs. You'll want to make sure the program you choose provides the training you need to pass certification exams and the skills you need to be work-ready when you finish. Consider how the training is structured. If it is hard for you to attend in-person classes, look for online options instead. Check into the type of student support a program offers so you won't be left to struggle on your own.
If you receive a workforce grant, you can use it with an approved vendor in your state. MedCerts is an approved vendor in 26 states and offers nationally recognized certification programs in the IT and healthcare industries.
Yes, even before you start your training, you should start preparing. Gather all of the paperwork you'll need before you meet with your case manager. You'll probably need documents such as your birth certificate, bank records, and any records of public assistance. During your meeting, ask your case manager to explain anything you don't understand and make sure you follow up on any information they need from you. Take an active role in planning the steps you'll need to take to meet your career goals.
The most important step you can take is to get started right away. Don't wait to take advantage of the opportunity to train for a new career. You may discover that being laid off was the best thing that could have happened to your career.