In a situation where you are in the process of making a career change, grants may be available to help.
Career Change Grants and Assistance for Unemployed Workers
Not all career changes are initiated by the worker's choice. In some situations, job layoffs mean that the person needs to look at finding a different way to make a living. In the United States, the federal government offers services to people who are looking for work or who need to develop the skills necessary to get a job.
The government provides the following supports for these workers:
- Assistance looking for a job
- Referrals to recruiters and job placement help
- Skills assessments
- Up to date information about the local labor market
- Career counseling
- Job fraining
- Basic education courses
The first step for the individual looking to change careers is to undergo a detailed needs assessment. Assistance with childcare and transportation costs may be available to help people access these services.
Employment and Training Administration
The agency within the federal government responsible for providing people with access to information and support for their job-search efforts is the Employment and Training Administration (ETA). Visit the web site to get news and information about career options, tips on how to find a job, and your rights as a worker.The ETA often funds worker training in high-need areas. For example, on July 22, 2008, the ETA announced the government will provide $10 million in grant funding to fund 11 projects designed to retrain workers for available job in the energy industry. Skilled workers are in demand in this sector, and if you are interested in changing careers, you may want to consider that there are numerous opportunities available for skilled workers.
Grants for Starting Your Own Business
A career change grant may not be about helping you find a job. If your next career move involves going into business for yourself, then you may want to look at applying for a grant to help get your venture off to the best possible start.
Contact your local Economic Development Office to find out about available programs you can access. Each one will have different criteria that you need to meet in order to qualify for assistance. The USA.gov web site has links to offices in each state.
Scholarships and Grants to Continue Your Education
Your career change plans may include a return to school to upgrade your skills. There are a number of sources of financial assistance for students, including scholarships, grants, and student loan programs.
If you haven't decided on a specific school yet, there are some great resources online that can provide you with information about options available to you. Here are a few sites you can check out to learn more:
- The College Grant page at Buzzle.com contains an overview of the different types of grants available. This page also explains that when you accept a grant, it's not really "free" money. There will be some kind of obligation attached to your taking the funding, and most grants are awarded to post-graduate students.
- Visit CollegeScholarships.org to find information about grants available to students including ones funded by the federal and state governments. Women and visible minorities may also qualify for grant money to further their education and facilitate their plans to start a new career.
You may also qualify for a grant if you are planning on becoming a nurse or a teacher, since these professions are currently experiencing a shortage of trained personnel.
You can get financial assistance in the form of career change grants when you want or need to find a different line of work. Take some time to explore all of your options to get help to make the transition as smooth as possible.