The Ottumwa Courier

Opinion

September 3, 2012

Job-finding tips for this Labor Day

OTTUMWA — On Labor Day 2012 and every day, one of my top priorities as secretary of labor is to help those looking for work to get the training they need for good-paying jobs in communities like in Ottumwa.

By 2020, 17 of the 30 fastest-growing occupations will require a postsecondary certificate or degree. In fact, employers are actively looking to fill nearly 4 million job openings in America right now. Getting the skills employers want and need are critical to a successful career.

Here are a few tips:

• Get started! Your first step is to check out your local American Job Center. These nearly 3,000 “one-stop-shops” are part of a nationwide network where you can work with experts to update your resume, strengthen interview skills and explore current job openings. Find your local center by visiting CareerOneStop.org. The city of Ottumwa has two locations: Workforce Development One Stop Center Ottumwa, 641-684-5401 and Indian Hills Workforce Development, 641-684-5401.

• Looking for a fresh start? Check out MySkillsMyFuture.org to discover different careers that build off of your existing skills, connect you to free training programs and even find employers in your area looking to hire. The site also shows how much different jobs pay near you or across the country, as well as the additional skills you’ll need to succeed.

• Not sure what career is right for you? Visit MyNextMove.org to find the job that's the perfect fit. Fill out a questionnaire listing your interests and abilities, and get suggestions for different employment paths in more than 900 careers. This site will also identify local apprenticeship and certificate programs to help you train and get a job in high-growth industries.

• Are you a veteran? “My Next Move for Vets” is designed just for you! Enter your military occupation code and the site matches your military skills to civilian jobs. If you're a post-9/11 era veteran, you can also download a Veterans Gold Card at DOL.gov/VETS to get specialized services from your local American Job Center.

• Don't have Internet access at home? We've partnered with local libraries all around the country to make sure that you always have a place to log on to our online resources. Most American Job Centers offer free access for those looking for a job, too.

• Have more questions? Call us. You can reach our toll-free helpline at (866) 4-USA-DOL for the most up to date resources. Nearly 160,000 people do it each month. And yes, we speak Spanish!

The U.S. Department of Labor has other resources to help you find a first job, new job or different career.  And our services are free. Happy Labor Day Ottumwa!

Hilda Solis is the U.S. Secretary of Labor.

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