Resource Guide : Where to Find Tips, Testing and Training at Little or No Cost



Sponsored by the Los Angeles Unified School District.



* Prepare trainees to meet apprenticeship entry requirements in a variety of trades, including surveying, sheet metal, plumbing/steam fitting, painting/drywall, electrical, sprinkler fitting, carpentry, refrigeration/air conditioning.

* Information on selection processes of various unions.

* Instruction and review in math and reading.

* Focus on minorities and women, but open to all qualified applicants.



* 18 years or older

* Be high-school graduate or have GED certificate

* Valid California driver’s license

* Be able to provide own transportation

Enrollment periods:

* Fall: August and September

* Spring: January and February


* Summer: May and June

Cost: $5 registration fee

Hours: Classes offered 8 a.m.-1 p.m. or 1-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri.

Address: Maxine Waters Employment Preparation Center, 10925 S. Central Ave., Los Angeles

Telephone: (213) 249-1149


Services: Vocational and educational counseling; not a placement service

Cost: $5 donation per visit (may be waived for the unemployed); $20 fee for Strong Interest Inventory testing (includes counseling)


Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon. and Wed.

Address: Santa Monica YWCA, 2019 14th St., Santa Monica

Telephone: (310) 452-3833


Serves primarily lower-income individuals and families on Los Angeles’ Eastside, but all people welcome.


* Three-day employment readiness seminar in English and Spanish

* Job-search mentoring

* Help with resumes

* Interview practice

* Placement and follow-ups

* Referrals to employers

* Job club

Cost: Free to participants and employers; $3 charge for seminar materials

Hours: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Thur.

Address: 717 S. Brady Ave., Los Angeles

Telephone: (213) 722-4495


Nonprofit organization provides a wide variety of services to people who are legally blind. Offers more than 200 classes in independent living skills.

Career services:

* Learning Center for active job seekers. Offers classes covering resume writing, interview skills and adaptive equipment

* Career development

* Job search and placement

* On-site job analysis before and after placement

* Subsidy program for adaptive equipment

* Annual seminar for employers

Costs: Free to legally blind clients

Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon.-Fri.

Address: 741 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles

Telephone: (213) 663-1111



Entrepreneur training program offered by Rancho Santiago College to laid-off or soon-to-be laid-off workers. The 10-week program provides technical assistance, business ownership training, marketing guidance and help in business plan creation.


* Candidates must be laid-off workers

* High school graduate with reading skills at eighth-grade level or above

* Idea for a small business

Cost: Free

Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri.

Telephone: (714) 564-5207 for appointment and reservation.



Nonprofit statewide association advocates fostering the development of new business in California. Business incubators provide entrepreneurial small businesses during the start-up period with affordable space, shared support services and business development services such as financing, marketing and management.

Services offered by CBIN:

* Information clearinghouse

* Technical assistance with development and operations

* Seminars, conferences and workshops

* Speakers bureau

Cost: Free for information packet; membership fees: $100 individual, $250 nonprofit and $500 corporate

Address: 350 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles

Telephone: Sheila Washington at (619) 237-0559; (800) 427-4710 (California only)

Facility-based Incubators in Southern California:

* Border Environmental Business Cluster, 477 Marina Parkway, Building 52, Chula Vista, (619) 498-4960

* Business and Industry Services Center, 901 E. Santa Ana Blvd., Santa Ana, (714) 564-5202

* CalStart, 3601 Empire Blvd., Burbank, (818) 565-5600

* CHARO Enterprise Innovation Center, 3951 E. Medford St., Los Angeles, (213) 269-0751NO ANSWER ON 1/20/97

* EC Square Annenberg Incubator Project, 746 W. Adams Blvd., Los Angeles, (213) 743-2344

* Inland Empire Business Incubator, 155 S. Memorial Drive, Suite B, San Bernardino, (909) 382-0065

* Lancaster Economic Development Corp., 104 E. Avenue K-4, Suite A, Lancaster, (805) 945-2741

* Pasadena Enterprise Center, 1015 N. Lake Ave., Suite 100, Pasadena, (818) 398-9974

* RBTIC (Ridgecrest Business Technology Incubator Center), 139 N. Balsam St., Ridgecrest, (619) 384-1118

* San Diego Technology Incubator, San Diego City College, 1313 12th Ave., San Diego, (619) 230-2081

* Thousand Oaks Environmental Business Cluster, 241 Lombard St., Suite 1, Thousand Oaks, (805) 446-6410

* Vermont-Slauson Business Enterprise Center, 6109 S. Western Ave., Los Angeles, (213) 694-0026


Hires young men and women to work for one year on a variety of environmental and community projects and to respond to emergencies such as forest fires, floods and earthquakes. Corps members learn job skills and gain work experience. Both residential and nonresidential positions are available.

Qualifications: Women and men between the ages of 18 and 23 who are California residents and not on probation or parole

Telephone: (800) 952-5627




* Employment assistance

* Job listings

* Computer matching of applicant qualifications to employer needs

* Educational resource library

* Women’s shelter (veterans and non-veterans eligible)

Eligibility: Must be a veteran

Cost: Free

Hours: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; counseling by appointment only, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Address: 8652 S. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles

Telephone: (213) 750-9967



Offers academic, vocational, business and industrial classes, and GED program. Classes are accredited by the Western Assn. of Schools and Colleges.


* A wide range of classes are offered, including, but not limited to, computer software applications, medical secretary, electronics testing, cable television installation, construction inspection, bookkeeping, telephone maintenance and banking careers

* Aptitude assessment tests

* Job postings

* Classes in resume writing and interview techniques

* ESL classes

* Job development counseling matching skills and job openings

* Employers may test and interview prospective job applicants on site

Cost: $10-$55 depending on program or service

Hours: Class and office hours, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

Address: 3921 Selig Place, East Los Angeles

Telephone: (213) 227-0018



Students learn entry-level skills in a wide variety of occupational fields, including animal care, banking, nursing, food service, retail sales and electronics. Programs are offered at high schools, adult schools, community colleges, private post-secondary schools, and community or business facilities.


* Classroom instruction

* Paid and unpaid on-the-job training

* Resume writing

* Job networking techniques

* Career counseling

Eligibility: Applicants must be at least 16 years of age

Cost: Free to high school students; adults are asked to pay a $20 registration fee and a $20 materials fee (minimum)

Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri.

Telephone: (310) 922-6850



The Job Training Partnership Act of 1982 provides federal funding for locally managed employment and training programs. Private Industry Councils within 52 service areas in California plan job training and employment programs to meet the needs of their local labor markets.


* Educational, vocational and on-the-job training

* Job search skills and placement

* Dislocated workers program

* Older workers program (55 and older)

* Youth training programs

Eligibility: Applicants may qualify for one or more reasons, including layoff, long-term unemployment or income below poverty levels.

Benefits to employers: Pre-screened and trained applicants, initial wage reimbursement (for on-the-job training), tax credits

Cost: For qualified applicants, training and placement services are free. Services provided to employers are also free.

Telephone: For the nearest Private Industry Council, consult the White Pages of your telephone book.



* Santa Monica Youth Employment offers subsidized employment training and work experience for disadvantaged teens ages 14 to 21 years. (310) 829-5451

* Santa Monica High School Regional Occupation Program offers high school students and adults job-skills training, placement and career assessment. (310) 395-3204

* Santa Monica College Job Center works with Santa Monica College students only. (310) 452-9337

* Santa Monica Board of Education Workability Program for high school students with special needs. (310) 450-8338, Ext. 224

* Virginia Avenue Park Jobs Program offers employment workshops and job counseling for youths and adults. (310) 458-8688

Cost: Free


The Service Corps of Retired Executives is a nonprofit organization sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Volunteers share their business experience with people who plan to go into business and those already in business who need advice.


* Counseling in areas such as business planning, advertising, accounting, inventory control, cash and credit management, marketing, financial and licensing requirements

* Several all-day workshops on such topics as starting and operating a new business, getting financing and advertising for your business

* Monthly seminars on various topics

* Monthly calendar of workshops and seminars mailed upon request

Cost: One-on-one counseling is free; seminars and workshops at nominal fees

Call for locations of counseling centers in Southern California:

* Los Angeles County: (818) 552-3206

* Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties: (714) 550-7369

* San Diego and Imperial counties: (619) 557-7272



Nonprofit organization serving the American Indian community of Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties. As a Job Training Partnership Act agency, provides employment assistance and vocational training to American Indians, native Alaskans and native Hawaiians who are unemployed, underemployed or economically disadvantaged.


* Yearly job fairs

* Pre employment training

* Resume and job application preparation

* Job search techniques

* Job listings and referrals

* Classroom vocational training

* On-the-job training

* Educational workshops for parents

Cost: Free

Hours: 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. Mon.-Fri.

Locations: Garden Grove, Carson, Commerce, Los Angeles and Riverside; satellite locations in Lancaster and El Monte


* Los Angeles County: (213) 387-5772

* Orange County: (714) 663-1102

* Riverside: (909) 682-8684


Offers unemployed residents of Los Angeles County an opportunity for job training and placement within the entertainment industry and companies that support the industry. The service specializes in clerical, secretarial and administrative occupations.


* Job search techniques and direct placement

* On-the-job training

* Self-paced skills lab offering computer training

Costs: Services free to employers and job seekers

Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri.

Address: 3600 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 226, Los Angeles

Telephone: (213) 368-1468


National organization dedicated to meeting the needs of the economically disadvantaged with funding from the federal Job Training Partnership Act.

Services: Training and placement for work as automated office technician, computerized financial specialist, medical billing specialist and public safety officer.

Cost: No charge to qualified applicants

Hours: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri.

Address: 2975 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 200, Los Angeles

Telephone: (213) 368-7303