With the U.S. economy the way it is, the time has come for many to re-examine their career, educational knowledge-base and occupational outlook. Even before the economy went sour, the need to obtain or upgrade skills became paramount with the massive outsourcing of American jobs and labor.
For years the U.S. has supported and financed assistance for those with low incomes and other barriers to employment. Currently, there are funded programs for summer youth employment, the training and employment of elders 55yrs and older and people interested in entering high-demand occupations in industries such as healthcare, transportation, construction, etc. There are also existing and new opportunities to assist in the startup or expansion of a small business venture. To take advantage of these opportunities a person must first apply themselves.
If you or someone you know is struggling to find training that can transform their lives, the first stop is your local workforce center. To bolster support for entrepreneurship, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill designed to provide small businesses and entrepreneurs with new and expanded assistance. H.R. 2352, the Job Creation through Entrepreneurship Act of 2009 promises to assist small business owners or aspiring entrepreneurs to get access to finance, training and education.
Under the federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and the recent American Recovery Act, funds are available for training for both industry-specific occupations and entrepreneurship. There are several education institutions, non-profit and for-profit entities that are approved by the state of Kansas and Board of Regents to provide training that can lead to increased knowledge and certifications that can give people a boost and advantage in succeeding in new occupational endeavors.
If interested in entrepreneurship, there are two providers in Kansas that provides entrepreneurial training, development or support services under WIA. One is IBSA, Inc., a nonprofit organization located in Topeka that provides entrepreneurial training, development and support services in the Wyandotte, Leavenworth and Johnson County area. This program focus its efforts on those interested in starting or expanding a business related to the construction and skilled trade industry. Unlike traditional entrepreneurial programs that provides training in a group setting, IBSA primarily provides this training and assistance on a one-on-one basis. Program participants are assisted in preparing a feasibility or business plan, assessing their market and competition, locating financing for their business, document preparation and making contact with contract and procurement officials. Other programs involving 'green' industry occupations are soon to be available by this agency.
Next, there is Entrepreneurial Synergy, LLC., also located in Topeka. Entrepreneurial Synergy provides the First Step FastTrac and FastTrac NewVentures microenterprise programs developed by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Entrepreneurial Synergy can deliver training in over 10 counties including Shawnee, Geary, Douglas, and Riley. For more information, call (785) 215-8667 or speak with your workforce center representative covering these counties.
For more information on these particular programs and other federally-funded training opportunities, visit www.KansasWorks.com
IBSA is a nonprofit tax-exempt organization serving Kansans since 1993. The agency has provided employment/training services, youth mentoring/guidance and advocacy in Kansas since 1994. No one is denied access to training based on race, gender, or political affiliation. IBSA is a resource partner to NetworkKansas.com, KCSourceLink.com, and is recognized by the Kansas Department of Commerce as a minority business resource. Contact IBSA at (913) 240-6247 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org