Help me find a trade
January 19, 2012 9:10 AM   Subscribe

What sort of training program is free and will have me gainfully employed by this summer?

I am a full time single mother of 3. Beginning this summer I will have babysitting that will allow me to work full time for the first time in years. Right now I am very poor. I also have health issues that make working in stressful environments that use a lot of chemicals (including air freshener and cleaning fluids) difficult.

Also, I'm slowly going blind (I can see well enough to do most things but can no longer trust myself with details that would be needed to return to pharmacy).

Things I have done:
Pharmacy tech
Office manager
Assistant to the owner of a music booking agency
bartender/deli chef
Daycare teacher
Crochet Instructor
Smoothie girl at a gym

People love me. I am great to work with. I work hard and always go the extra mile.

I need a job that will still give me time with my children while allowing me to make enough money to support them. Healthcare (including dental), would be amazing.

What should I train for? What should I do? My only interests have to do with music, writing and crochet. Not much money potential there, as I have no college degree.
posted by myselfasme to Education (6 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I don't think 12-16 weeks is enough time to get useful formal job training in much of anything, and free training is generally going to be worth exactly what you paid for it. I think you are better off looking at where you have experience and working from that to find a job. You'll likely to get paid better based on experience versus minimal training and no experience anyway. You seem to have been an asst / office manager type several times - I'd focus on that.

There may be govt. job training programs available - but be warned. They often suck up a lot of your time for little to no actual material gain. Check with your local unemployment office about what options might be available.
posted by COD at 10:25 AM on January 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

There may be agencies in your area that do job-coaching/job-seeking type work for people with disabilities - i.e. in Canada, CNIB provides career and employment services, among other things, to people with vision loss. Do you have a doctor? They may be able to help with referrals if services exist where you are.
posted by purlgurly at 10:42 AM on January 19, 2012

If you're in the States, it looks like the American Foundation for the Blind also does some career-support work - I found a section on their website called CareerConnect that may be helpful.
posted by purlgurly at 10:47 AM on January 19, 2012

In Maine, and very likely where you live, you'd be eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation. They help you find a career that suits your capability and interests, and they train you. You could possibly get a stipend while in training. Federal stimulus money was used in Maine to fund Voc Rehab, so waiting lists are quite low right now. Might be true in your state, too.

Most Unemployment offices offer training to people who are looking for work, whether they are getting Unemployment pay or not.

You also may be eligible for Social Security Disability pay. If you applied, and were turned down, please try again. They seem to reject most applicants, even when they are clearly unable to work.
posted by theora55 at 11:14 AM on January 19, 2012

Customer service or sales assistant. Most jobs don't pay fantastically, but will provide benefits and a predictable work schedule.

Aim high option - University Administration. If you have any large colleges or universities in your area they often have office admin personnell for each department. They may even let you take classes and you usually don't already need a degree to work in the offices.
posted by WeekendJen at 11:25 AM on January 19, 2012

How about getting your CNA? I know around here local nursing homes will offer to pay for your training if you work there for X number of years. Here it's usually 2 years, but YMMV.
posted by julie_of_the_jungle at 5:42 PM on January 19, 2012

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