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    Don’t Discount the Merits of Job Training Programs

    During times of low unemployment, such as now, individuals often choose to work instead of participating in job training programs. And rightfully so – employers often offer more competitive salaries and benefits during these times because it’s harder to find workers when so many people are employed. However, there are still good reasons to continue building your skills and credentials especially if you can work while doing so.

    Expanding the skills and credentials you possess sets you up for future success. If the skills and credentials are relevant to your current role, you increase your likelihood of job security in two key ways:

    1. More than a job. Gaining additional skills and credentials hones your ability not just to do your current job, but to assume roles on the next step of the career ladder. Then your work becomes more than a job – it becomes a career path where opportunities for increased earnings and ownership over your work abound!
    2. Standing out in the crowd. If your employer is ever faced with the unfortunate decision of laying off or downsizing its workforce, your enhanced skillset will make you stand out as someone to keep on board.

    Training on skills outside of your current industry that are “in-demand,” or ones employers are having a hard time hiring for, further improves your job security:

    1. Recession proofing. You expand the industries in which you can work and the job postings for which you qualify, thus increasing your likelihood of being hired; an especially important factor during slower hiring periods.
    2. Again, standing out in the crowd. When you possess skills and credentials that are hard to find, you increase your desirability as a candidate.

    So consider taking advantage of opportunities to participate in job training programs especially if you can work while you train. Even if you can’t, don’t necessarily write the choice off as a “no brainer.” Compare the long-term earnings and opportunities for advancement you’d gain from the job you’re considering versus the ones you’d be eligible for after training. Many local Goodwill® organizations offer free or deeply discounted training programs and their support staff can help you make these comparisons and decisions. Check out what your local Goodwill has to offer today!

    Tyonka Rimawi
    Tyonka Rimawi serves as a Career Navigation Program Specialist at Goodwill Industries International where she leads the GoodProspects® for Credentials to Careers initiative and the Hospitality Affinity Group. Through current and previous roles, Tyonka works to support education, training and employer coalitions focused on helping individuals achieve career awareness, credentials and placement; all with a focus on equity and closing gaps in the education and training pipelines to serve a broader range of individuals.
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