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Labor Day tips from the U.S. Department of Labor

By Hilda L. Solis

Under President Obama’s leadership, the U.S. economy has rebounded. We’ve seen 29 straight months of job growth with a total of 4.5 million jobs created. While this is good news, the unemployment rate among African Americans in Metro Detroit is still too high. The fact is, we’re still fighting back from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The economy is growing but it’s not growing fast enough.

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. There are more than 100 job centers in Michigan with 19 located in Metro Detroit alone. You can find your local center by visiting

-Looking for a fresh start? Check out 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 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? There are more than 287,000 veterans in Metro Detroit and “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 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 L. Solis is the U.S. Secretary of Labor.

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