Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Future Sources of Job Training to Keep an Eye On

A story in the Toledo Blade the other day caught my eye.  It was the announcement that a regional education institution, Northwest State Community College $5 million grant to retrain workers in information technology, and that eventually it would train about 300 people. The program will cover 17 counties (you might want to check with Northwest State to see if your county is one of them).   That's a pretty small fraction of the people in northwest Ohio who need such training, but how do they get it?  This is the story of how "all that grant money" for re-education gets spent, and the detective work required to get it.

Let's read the article closely. It says that NSCC was one of 43 partnerships in 28 states to snag this particular grant, funded by fees charged by the Department of Labor to employers who import workers for their positions.  That means there's more grants out there for other retraining programs in other parts of the country.  But where?  Here's where.  The Department of Labor's press release gives the name of the other grant recipients, where they are and the target of their retraining spending.  One of them is Ohio University, which says the funding will go to health professional training. Another is River Valley Community College in New Hampshire, with an interest in manufacturing training and setting up people in apprenticeship programs. If you live in one of these places, this money may be coming down the pike soon.  Knowing the name of the instituion makes it easier to use google, or www.news.google.com for more announcement information, since it's likely that your local newspaper will run a story, or local congressman or senator will make an announcement.  Now you know which institutions will have programs, and may get some background on how the program will take shape in your area. All the institutions getting the grants are different, and so are their goals. 

Let's read further.  It says in the Blade story that NSCC will be working with WSOS and some other northwest Ohio institutions, and that WSOS will be helping select some of the students.  If you live in the WSOS area (Wood, Sandusky, Ottawa, or Seneca counties), you might want to check with them, and sign up for their employment programs, if possible, and ask if this will help you get on a waiting list for the new program. It may or may not, but you should be hooked up with whatever one-stop shop employment bureau is in your area.  In Toledo, it's the Source. It says that they are not picking people right away--they will need time to set up the program--but that you should check their website regularly for announcements.  That seems like a good idea.  Finding grants to recareer is like catching a train.  You need to be in the right place waiting for it when it comes around.

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