Life Skills Education
Many of us take for granted skills and abilities that assist us in completing everyday tasks. Life skills include developing and keeping regular routines; being reliable and on time; appearance; and accepting personal, family, and academic responsibilities. Goal setting, decision-making, time management, listening skills, and problem-solving are additional examples of life skills that some students may not have had an opportunity to develop. These life skills are a necessary prerequisite for Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (JT) program candidates who must meet the challenges of the rigorous training. They are also necessary for a student to gain and hold employment after graduation.
Funding for life skills training is not supported by EPA’s JT program, but is often available from a number of other sources. Programs sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), community colleges, and faith-based and community organizations may provide assistance for students entering an environmental job training program.
Life skills training supported by the federal government is usually part of a larger comprehensive program with block grants to states who, in turn, establish social service agencies and Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs). States may develop statewide programs passing resources down to counties and communities to support local programs. Federal grants may be matched or supplemented with local funds. Each locality is different.
It is important to search local, county, and state labor and social services programs for available assistance with life skills training in addition to other student support. Note that local programs require local partnerships and that every community operates differently. Websites are useful in learning how national programs work and in identifying and providing contact information for local programs.