Brandon Midell of Ohio was going nowhere fast during his troubled teen years. Seeking a chance to change his life, he enrolled in the Cincinnati Job Corps Center. The older students and instructors in Job Corps, Midell said, "influenced me, told me to stay in school and stayed on my case." He completed his high school diploma and welding training at Job Corps and worked at various welding jobs in and around Ohio.
One of those jobs included welding Humvees used by U.S. troops overseas, "which made me feel real good," he said. Midell now works full time on welding and construction jobs in North Dakota. He often returns to the Cincinnati Job Corps Center to share his good news with students and offer advice on how to turn their lives around.
While he was underemployed in a job selling cookware, Nick Bryant dreamed about capitalizing on his computer software degree and finding his "ultimate goal" of working in the technology field. Bryant made his dream a reality with help from CareerSource North Central Florida and its H1-B Technical Skills Training grant from the Employment and Training Administration.
The ETA grant funds the Healthcare Biomanufacturing Occupational and Technology Training program and enables employers to hire, train and retain qualified employees in permanent positions in health care, bioscience, manufacturing and technology occupations. After a career skills assessment, Bryant was hired as a software engineer by SharpSpring, a startup company that provides small businesses with software to generate and track sales leads. Rick Carlson, the company's CEO and founder, has hired about a dozen employees through the training program. It "allows us to hire people as we grow," Carlson said.
After ten years working at fast food restaurants and as a security guard, Baltimore's Deric Richardson found himself out of a job during the height of the great recession. Despite having a GED and a Microsoft Office certificate, he knew he needed more training and a more sustainable career path. At the Northwest Career Center at Mondawmin Mall — part of the American Job Center network – staff suggested that Deric take a look at a tuition free laboratory skills training program.
The training, offered tuition free by the nonprofit BioTechnical Institute of Maryland, is designed to prepare unemployed and under-employed Maryland residents – like Deric – for good jobs in the rapidly expanding biotechnology industry. Deric described the training as rapid teaching, saying that he started feeling a lot more confident from day 1. "I still apply everything I learned," Deric told Secretary Perez during a July 2014 visit.
Deric began receiving job interview requests before he had even completed the program in June 2010, and two weeks after graduating he started a full time position as a GMP (Good Manufacturing Process) Manufacturing Associate at Paragon Bioservices and is part of their Quality Control Support team.
Training programs are working right now, and they're making a difference. On Sept. 29, 2014, the Labor Department granted $450 million in TAACCCT (Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training) grants to nearly 270 community colleges across the country. Check out the map to see which colleges are using these grants to deliver the education and career training that will help job seekers get the skills they need for in-demand jobs in their communities.
All grantees are partnering with employers in growing industries to train workers for middle-class jobs that will be the backbone of our globally-competitive, 21st century economy.