Labor Day Tips from the U.S. Labor Secretary

On Labor Day 2012 and every day, one of Secretary Hilda Solis' top priorities is to help those looking for work get the training they need for good-paying jobs.

On Labor Day 2012 and every day, one of my top priorities is to help those looking for work get the training they need for good-paying jobs.

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.

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.

The United States 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!

Hilda Solis is the 25th U.S. Secretary of Labor. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Phil Lynson September 07, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Bob - An even better graph. What is interesting about the graph that you sent is that you can look at the data and see it trend up and down starting from 1948. It seems that the overall participation rate has dramatically increased in the last 60+ years due no doubt to the decision of many women to enter the workforce. I went back to my original graph and viewed the unemployment data over that same period of time. http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000 What I found curious was the alarming spike in unemployment that coincided with President Reagan's election in 1980. I recall it because it coincided with my enlistment in the military. As I said previously, draw your own conclusions.
Pam J September 07, 2012 at 05:43 PM
1982 and 1983 were bad. I had a good job during that time period, so I guess I didn't really care. And until this last job loss, the other times I either got laid off, quit, or just was let go for a stupid reason, it only took me from two weeks to three months (got three months severance, so I didn't look real hard!) to find another job. And good jobs. Got several job offers. So when I lost my job in December of 2009, I honestly didn't think it would take long to find another one. Boy, was I wrong. And I had great credit at the time, owned my own home, and had all kinds of experience. None of that matters when there are thousands of people applying for the same jobs.
Observer September 07, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Phil, If you're going to draw conclusions about unemployment during a particular period you need to examine the underlying economic conditions at the time. There was a huge run-up in oil prices starting in 1979 during Jimmy Carter's administration due to the Iran crisis, also, perhaps you;re not old enough to remember the "stagflation" that occurred and 16% interest rates under Carter that caused the economy to crater after Reagan began his term of office. Up until the current economic crisis the recession of the early eighty's was the greatest since the depression. To subtly imply that the election of Reagan had anything to do with the crashing of the economy is disingenuous. You should apply greater rigor to your thought processes.
BeckBoo September 07, 2012 at 06:40 PM
link just out today: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-07/payrolls-in-u-s-rose-96-000-in-august-jobless-rate-falls.html
Phil Lynson September 07, 2012 at 06:41 PM
My intent was not to draw conclusions, only to allow others to draw their own. Still your conclusion sounds eerily like a Democrat blaming the current economic situation on George W. Bush. That was the rigor that my thought was hoping one would process. Thanks for doing that.


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