Family Economic Mobility Toolkit

Accessing Job Training and Apprenticeships

Families may be interested in developing their skills and gaining experience via job training programs, apprenticeships, and workforce development opportunities. Staff can support families in obtaining the right training for their career aspirations.

Ideas for Action

1. Explore local job training programs.

Staff can help families identify local training programs, apprenticeships, or workforce development opportunities in their area — and support them in applying for programs. Staff can also discuss how starting a training program may affect their day-to-day schedule.

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Start the Conversation

  • “What kinds of opportunities have you heard about?”
  • “What skills are most important to you to gain?”
  • “What other commitments and responsibilities do you need to consider before enrolling in a program?”

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Join forces with local benefits training programs.

Learn who oversees the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) job program or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Employment and Training Program (SNAP E&T) program in your area. If possible, invite them to talk with parents who are eligible for or receiving those services. In some states, public assistance job and education programs are led by local community organizations. Find the organizations in your community that run these programs. Plan events together or share resources to help parents access educational and workforce opportunities.

Many community colleges and four-year institutions have an office of student support. Reach out to these offices to set up a conversation about the interests and needs of parents in your program. If there is mutual interest, you may want to set up a partnership with offices that support students. You can communicate regularly with your contacts in these offices to continue to build your partnership.

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Connect families to apprenticeship programs.

An apprenticeship combines job-related technical instruction with structured, on-the-job learning experiences. It is a career pathway where individuals can earn and learn at the same time.[1] Apprentices work as they complete training and earn more as they develop more skills.

In apprenticeships that are registered with the U.S. Department of Labor, apprentices get their on-the-job training from an assigned mentor. Their technical training takes place at an apprenticeship training center, community college, or distance-learning institution. At the end of registered apprenticeships, participants receive a nationally recognized credential showing proficiency in their field. Many apprenticeships can serve as a springboard to other higher education. They are common in many fields: advanced manufacturing, construction, energy, finance and business, health care, hospitality, information technology, telecommunications, and transportation.[2]

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