HOUSTON - Not college bound? Not a problem.
For students graduating from high school who are not headed to college, Workforce Solutions says there are a variety of free and low-cost job training programs that lead to high-paying jobs.
When you think of job training, you likely think about community colleges, which offer a wide array of certificate programs in fields like IT, skilled trades, and automotive.
But Michelle Castrow, Strategic Planning Manager for Workforce Solutions, also points out several local organizations offer free job training.
Healthcare workers are in demand. The Wesley Community Center offers technical training opportunities at no cost to students who are interested in working as a Certified Nursing Assistant, Patient Care Technician, Pharmacy Technician, or Child Development Assistant.
"These are more short-term certificates that allow you to get into the workforce. They allow you to get a good paying job where you can start earning," said Castrow.
"They will train you while you get a part-time job in banking, while you pursue additional education. Or you decide you like banking, and you want to pursue a career there," she said.
Plus SER Jobs offers training in trades, such as welding, pipe fitting and forklift operation.
Plus the Houston Gulf Coast Building and Construction Trades Council offers a free Apprenticeship Readiness Program, where students work 40 hours a week, attend apprenticeship classes, and earn college credits at no cost.
"Once you complete that three-week program, you’ll be able to interview with different companies who are hiring for good paying jobs," said Castrow.
Workforce Solutions is also offering free online skills training.
"We can help you gain access to one year of free online learning through one of our three different platforms, LinkedIn Learning, 180 Skills, and Metrix Learning."
If you go the community college route, she adds that many have funding from stimulus bills to provide financial aid packages to students who qualify.