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How Career Change Programs Work


Who pays?
The Department of Labor provides millions to help unemployed young people transition into "green careers" such as hybrid auto technicians and solar panel installers.
The Department of Labor provides millions to help unemployed young people transition into "green careers" such as hybrid auto technicians and solar panel installers.
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Retraining for a job can be expensive. An associate's degree can cost between $6,000 and $7,000, while an advanced degree can cost much more [source: PBS]. But don't fret. Many financial aid programs exist that can help the unemployed pay for college and job retraining.

Most of that money comes from private foundations, along with state, federal and local governments. Each provides grants for various groups of displaced workers, including veterans, health care workers, factory workers and even dancers [source: U.S Government Grants].

Still, the federal government provides the deepest well of financial help. For example, the government's Trade Adjustment Assistance program helps workers who lost their jobs or had their hours cut due to overseas competition. The government will pay up to 104 weeks of occupational training so qualified workers -- those who can prove (usually through a union) that they lost their jobs because of overseas competition -- can attend technical colleges and four-year universities [source: Couch].

The Department of Labor provides millions to help unemployed young people transition into "green careers" such as hybrid auto technicians and solar panel installers [source: Couch]. The Workforce Investment Act pays for vocational programs for various groups including disadvantaged youth, veterans and Native Americans.

Job Corps, another government-run program, helps pay vocational tuition for low-income youth. Job Corps also offers free on-the-job training in more than 100 technical areas including heath care and manufacturing. In addition, Job Corps has a variety of free courses at local community colleges and vocational schools [source: Couch].

There is a lot of money out there to help people train for new jobs. The key is to research all options.


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