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The new vocational training

The Seattle retraining program profiled by Need to Know correspondent Rick Karr is part of the National STEM Consortium.

STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) is a now a familiar acronym in American school systems and the Consortium brings its emphasis to adult education and job retraining. As we reported from Alabama recently, there are jobs to be had in U.S. manufacturing but they require new skills and training, often in STEM fields. The Consortium, founded with a federal retraining grant, currently consists of  programs in nine states administered by local community colleges. They offer certificate programs in composite materials, cyber technology, electric vehicle technology, environmental technology and mechatronics. The programs work directly with local industry and build, where possible, on pre-existing skill sets — as with electric vehicle programs near America’s automobile heartland.

Professional certification programs are one way to gain entry into new employment sectors with credentials agreed upon by the industry itself. The Department of Labor has a new comprehensive employment website: Job Center USA ( in the BETA phase. Here you can find information you need for a job search or career change. Resources once spread across government sites are now collected under one hub: career outlooks, training opportunities and requirements and job postings. Wade into My Skills My Future career planning tool, the employability checklist, and the practical My Next Move.

Career One StepThose looking for up-and-coming job sectors and retraining should head straight to Career One Stop which offers tools for all job seekers from veterans to students to those whose industries have contracted. You can explore in a number of ways — interest, industry, location. Search for careers on the rise and their requirements by skill or interest returns a list with “bright outlooks” and actual job listings in your local area.

The certification search function returns exactly what you need to qualify for certain occupations and industries. And it also provides links to certifying agencies and local training programs all across the nation. See below:

As the new compendium is developed it will become even more useful, adding in federal government job listings and additional state and local employers and training opportunities.

Keep it bookmarked.

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