By: Angela Lopez, Director, TAA Services, National Able Network

Taking a week off from our Summer Session on Petition Filing to bring you this blog on Credentials.

Should TAA customers choose a training program that provides a credential?  Locally, we stress the importance of a credential by including it as a ‘7th condition.’  It is encouraged, but not required.  We encourage credential attainment by asking customers to look at the requirements section for local job leads and explore labor market information.  Customers then write a personal statement in which they use their research to assess current skills (at lay-off) and demonstrate the need for training.  Usually the natural outcome of this is that the customer concludes that a credential will help with job search goals and therefore chooses training that provides a credential.  It is important to consider that many TAA customers had significant longevity with their employer and do not have any recent education to add to a resume.  Even if the customer is not a career-changer, the customer may not be completely aware of current trends/most updated technology in the industry.  This could impact the probability of a lateral move to a similar employer.  The attainment of a credential can prove both a specific skill set and also that the customer has been brought up-to-date in the field of work.  While it seems logical that attaining a credential would bolster job search outcomes, there is also data to support this.  According to DOL, there is a 3% to 6% bump in employment rates for customers who attended training and received a credential over those who only attended training.