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Education and Training

Building the skills and competencies of American workers is essential to ensuring the competitiveness of business in the global economy. The public workforce system recognizes that training for individuals must align with the needs of business and industry. There are several ways that the public workforce system supports this need for training.

 Pre-employment Training

Most of the training offered by the public workforce system is available for individuals who are unemployed or underemployed. It is designed to help people develop the skills they need to enter the workforce in a high-growth, high-demand occupation as quickly as possible.

Individuals who meet certain conditions can qualify for Individual Training Accounts to pay for short-term training they need to advance in the labor market. Longer-term training is sometimes available for workers who have been laid off due to the impact of foreign trade.

As an employer, you have an opportunity to learn about the kinds of training that individuals are receiving in your local area, and you can also ask for the résumés of people who are completing training in fields that are relevant to your workforce needs. These trained workers can be a significant source of workers that meet your qualifications and expectations.

Find out more:

 On-the-Job Training

Certain jobs will require training at the workforce that is beyond what individuals receive through pre-employment training. Under certain circumstances, employers may receive reimbursement for up to 50 percent of the costs to provide additional on-the-job training for individuals who were hired through the public workforce system. Your American Job Centers or Workforce Development Board can advise you on programs that may be available.

 Incumbent Worker Training

Although the majority of training opportunities through the public workforce system are for individuals who are unemployed or underemployed, many states and local areas also support incumbent worker training as a critical facet of their regional economic development strategy. In fact, lifelong learning is increasingly the norm--and continuous skill development is often required to keep a step ahead of the global competition.

ETA has granted states the ability to make flexible decisions about training dollars for incumbent workers. Different states have made different decisions about whether they will support such training, which high-growth industries will be eligible, and yearly limits, among other important considerations. To learn more about programs in your state and whether your company may qualify, visit your local American Job Centers, talk to the local Workforce Development Board, or visit your state workforce agency.

 Registered Apprenticeship

Registered apprenticeship is a structured way for companies to support career development for their employees. With a registered apprenticeship program at their company, workers know in advance the blend of classroom instruction and on-the-job training they need to successfully complete to enter designated jobs or gain promotions. Many companies have documented that registered apprenticeship has helped them to increase recruitment, increase retention, and reduce their overall training costs.

The federal Office of Apprenticeship, and apprenticeship offices across the country, are available to help companies evaluate if registered apprenticeship is right for them. Field staff can also provide technical assistance in setting up an apprenticeship.

Find out more:

Visit ETA’s Web site on apprenticeship