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Service providers may offer education, training, employment, or supportive services and often provide multiple services. Some providers offer occupational training programs and may award certificates and degrees that may be industry-recognized credentials. They also offer academic programs, including adult education, which focus on academic training, teaching basic competencies and skills needed to advance in an education or training program. Organizations that provide employment services help people find, access, and retain employment. Some providers also help people access supportive services, such as assistance with housing, child care, transportation, finances, or health care. A key role for service providers in the local workforce system is to operate American Job Centers, which provides publicly funded employment and training services.

  • Community and technical (two-year) colleges primarily confer associate’s degrees, but they also award certificates for technical or occupational programs that last from only a few days or weeks to more than a year. Two-year institutions are mostly public community and technical colleges, but they may also be private nonprofit or for-profit colleges. Most two-year colleges can award federal financial aid such as Pell grants and may receive federal or state funding to support career and technical education programs. These institutions offer credit and noncredit programs.
  • Four-year colleges and universities primarily award four-year or graduate degrees and can be public, private, nonprofit, or for-profit. They also may award federal financial aid to students. Many two-year college students seek to transfer to four-year institutions to complete four-year degree programs.
  • K–12 public school districts prepare youth for the workforce through college preparation and career and technical education programs. They can also partner with local programs, such as summer youth employment programs and industry-focused career exploration. Some high schools offer career academies to prepare students for work in specific industry sectors.
  • Community and faith-based organizations often provide a range of training, employment, and supportive services to adults and youth who need assistance succeeding in the workforce, often in collaboration with other providers.
  • Public libraries provide free, convenient locations for people to access resources such as computers and high-speed internet. They may also offer workforce-related programs and services, such as job clubs.
  • For-profit employment and training entities, such as trade schools and staffing agencies, also play a role in local workforce systems. Staffing agencies meet workforce and employer human resources needs by placing job seekers in temporary or permanent jobs and by serving as the employer of record for a company for payroll and tax purposes. Trade schools offer trainings that lead to industry-recognized credentials in specific sectors or occupations.
  • Employers may also train their own workers or people seeking to enter a new occupation through work-based learning opportunities, such as internships and apprenticeships.