Free, low-cost job retraining available to help you land a job

If you lost your job during the shutdown, you may need new training and skills, or even a new profession, to land your next one. The good news is there are ways to get some of that training for free or low cost.

One of the best ways to increase your job opportunities is to train specifically for in-demand fields. Workforce Solutions says, in Houston, that includes education, healthcare, and skilled trades.

"The job market has changed considerably," said Michelle Castrow, Strategic Planning Manager with Workforce Solutions.

She says job seekers can use the employment planning tool on

"Look and see what the data tells you in terms of what the projections are saying, where the good jobs will be," said Castrow.

And she recommends speaking with a Workforce Solutions Employment Counselor. You can go to or call 1-888-469-JOBS.

"We will talk about where you've been, your ideas of where you want to go, the types of training that are available to get you there," she explained.

Training may be as simple as taking a free course offered online.

"There are programs like LinkedIn Learning that give you 30 days for free," said Castrow.

Or you might need to re-training through courses at a community college.  But she says financial aid is available.

"We will do our very best to make sure, if you're qualified for financial aid, that we can get that to you in a timely manner.  And if you're not eligible for our assistance, we'll connect you with other resources that are available," she said.

The Texas Workforce Commission's Skills Development Fund has also launched a new training initiative during the pandemic, where community and technical colleges are working with businesses to train workers to meet their needs and the fund pays the cost.

Rice University is offering five new low-cost, virtual classes to help you land a job.

"To empower them to take ownership of their job search and move forward," said Dr. David Vassar with the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies at Rice University.

They offer classes on job searching, networking, interviewing, leadership and standing out.

"The way you present yourself when you talk to other people and when you network, you have to know how to talk about yourself in order to make that powerful pitch at the right time," said Vassar.

The Rice University classes are $25 each, or five for $100, and begin July 16th.