January 12, 2009

Get free retraining

Posted: 10:53 AM ET

We’ve lost 2.6 million jobs so far this year. And it’s likely to get a lot worse. If you find yourself out of work, retraining may be the only option. Here is where you can find help free right now.


1) Turn to Uncle Sam

The Department of Labor sponsors a Web site called You can find a list of industries with the largest employment. There’s also an education finder so you can locate colleges and schools that offer programs in your field of interest. If you don’t have a computer, The U.S. Department of Labor can provide this information over the phone. Call 1-877-US-2JOBS.

2) Think non-profit

Your local Goodwill organization is also a good resource for you if you’ve been out of work for a long time or you have disabilities. Goodwill organizations train people for jobs in IT, healthcare, retail, banking and landscaping. As part of its career services, Goodwill helps people conduct job searches, write resumes and practice their interviewing skills. To find your local Goodwill, check out

3) Resources for older workers

If you are over 55 and meet income requirements AARP has a free Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). AARP staff will assess your job skills and interests, connect you with training, help you update your resume and provide you with job leads. As part of the program you will also work part time for a host agency like a food bank or a library. For more information, or to find a SCSEP program in your area, go to and enter in SCSEP in the search tool.

For more of Gerri's Top Tips, watch CNN weekdays at 11:15 am Eastern Time.

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Clark Howard helps you become a wise consumer. We know you're busy, and that's why Clark's tips are quick and effective. He'll arm you with the information you need to make smart choices. During these tough economic times, Clark wants to help you save more, spend less and avoid getting ripped off!