America’s Job Centers (formerly known as CareerOneStop) are a network of nearly 3,300 federally funded workforce development centers located across the U.S. Written into the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), recently reauthorized as the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA), this network of career centers was created to empower individuals to gain meaningful employment. The network is a one-stop shop for employment services.
Most states require individuals who receive unemployment benefits to visit their America’s Job Center for help looking for a job. Many states have online registration systems that match job seekers to employers looking to hire. Utilizing these tools is all part of a recipient’s responsibility to actively seek work. However, even if you are not receiving unemployment benefits or even have a job, you can still use services at the centers—all for free.
American Job Centers are a collaboration of private and public entities equally grounded in getting job seekers work and getting employers the workers they need—creating customized recruitments, training programs and other efforts aimed at closing the skills gap between them.
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Job seekers who take advantage of these under-utilized services receive a similar experience to what you’d find with a recruitment agency, résumé writer or career coach, but without the cost. Centers focus on placing individuals in quality jobs paying a living wage.
Centers offer services free of charge to anyone looking for a job, whether currently unemployed or otherwise. They offer workshops, often daily, on countless topics from “Using the Internet to Find Work” to “In-demand Jobs” to “Creating your personal brand” and more. Other services include résumé writing and review, mock interviews, job leads, subsidized training program placement and more. Computers with internet access are also available free of charge for training and job search needs.
If you are interested in building skills or being trained for a new job, an America’s Job Center can connect you with training programs in nearly every field. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to get some or all of the costs of training covered by funding from the Department of Labor. Many programs are available that take just a few months to a year to complete and offer a clear career path to your next job.
As with job seekers, employer services are offered at no cost. Employers can utilize the centers for recruitment, candidate screening and more. Many states also offer training and hiring incentives if employers agree to hire job seekers who meet certain eligibility requirements.