If you're thinking about a career change but don't know if you have the necessary skills, we have good news. There are many occupations for which training might be available for you.
The federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) provides worker training, on-the-job training, work experience, apprenticeships and individual training accounts. Training is usually offered through community and technical colleges, universities, private for-profit organizations and businesses. Through a variety of training programs, WIOA helps eligible individuals find self-sustaining employment. See our Training Provider section for more information.
WIOA eligibility standards include age, income level, education and skills and work circumstances. For example, someone who has been laid off or who has received notice of a layoff as a result of a permanent closure or substantial layoff at a plant may be eligible for special assistance. Some programs are designed especially for youth who are between the ages of 14 and 21 and have very limited income. Other programs are designed for those 18 years of age and older.
Individuals receiving unemployment insurance benefits may qualify for financial aid
Federal Pell Grants are available to eligible individuals enrolled in an undergraduate degree or certificate program and can cover up to $5,350 in education and training expenses. They are accepted at nearly all universities and community colleges and many trade and technical schools. Applying for financial aid and finding training is easy. You can find helpful information online at www.federalstudentaid.ed.gov/opportunity.
Here are the steps you should take:
- Decide what type of training best meets your needs. Explore occupations at www.kylmi.ky.gov. Access information on Kentucky schools and programs through www.kheaa.com.
- Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is the first step in determining available aid. You can apply online at www.fafsa.gov or by calling toll-free 800-433-3243.
- Visit Focus|Career for education, employment and economic development information. Create a resume while you visit the site to ensure you are notified of job opportunities.
- Contact a WIOA career counselor at your local Kentucky Career Center office for information on the Dislocated Worker Program. To find the nearest Kentucky Career Center office, click here or call 877-872-5627.
- Visit your local Kentucky Career Center office for additional assistance. The Kentucky Career Center can help you identify high-demand occupations in your area. Resource room computers are available to apply for Pell Grants and other federal financial aid. In addition, career counselors can discuss reemployment services and other programs and services that may be available to you.
- Finally, before enrolling in a training institution, notify an unemployment insurance representative in the Kentucky Career Center to ensure that you can continue to receive unemployment benefits while enrolled in the program you have chosen. Not every training program excuses you from the requirement that you are “seeking and available for work” in order to receive unemployment benefits.
- Visit our career center offices
The state is divided into 10 local workforce development areas or LWDAs, which are partners of the Kentucky Career Center. Each of these 10 areas has one or more career center office to assist individuals and to provide information about available WIOA programs and eligibility requirements. Find the career center office nearest you: office locations. To view contact information for each LWDA, click on this map.
The Kentucky Career Center can:
- assist you in finding job openings;
- screen and test you for jobs that match your skills;
- fund eligible on-the-job training and customized training needs;
- arrange space for job interviews, and in some areas, schedule interviews via video conferencing;
- provide access to detailed labor market information for the local area, Kentucky and the nation;
- provide services to help both employer and employees when facing layoffs or other major issues;
- offer unemployment insurance information and contacts; and
- make connections with vocational rehabilitation services (for people with disabilities) and services for the blind. See link for more information.
Did you lose your job to foreign outsourcing?
Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) helps trade-affected workers who have lost their jobs as a result of increased imports or shifts in production out of the United States.
TAA program services and benefits are provided to help eligible workers get back to work. To obtain reemployment services and benefits under this program, the group of workers must first file a petition with the U.S. Department of Labor's Division of Trade Adjustment Assistance requesting certification as workers adversely affected by foreign trade. If the petition is certified, each worker in the group must then apply for individual services and benefits through their local Kentucky Career Center office to determine individual eligibility for reemployment services and benefits.
Learn more about the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program.
Services for veterans
If you are a veteran of the U.S. armed forces, including the Reserves and National Guard, there are services specific to you. See Veterans Express.
Training resources for people with disabilities
The Kentucky Career Center offers a wide array of resources for people who are blind or have other disabilities. See our Disability Services page for more information.