Any time is a tough time to be unemployed or underemployed, but the present time is especially challenging.

Accessing Free Training and Education

Whether it’s a specific skill to round out your current resume or a full degree program to launch an all-new career, you can pursue it at Waubonsee, locally and at no cost. 

WIOA Tuition-Free Career Training

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act allows certain groups of eligible people, including dislocated/laid off workers, to apply for funding they can use to retrain for in-demand careers. Many of Waubonsee’s credit career programs, along with a few noncredit offerings, serve as training program options.

Please contact Waubonsee at (630) 966-4673 (voicemails will be returned asap) or email for a referral to the workNet Batavia to discuss eligibility, training options, and application steps for financial support through WIOA.

Adult Education Programs (HSE/GED, ELA)

Adult Education Programs (HSE/GED, ELA)
If you don’t yet have a high school diploma, now is a great time to go after it! Participate in our always-free High School Equivalency (HSE) program and prepare to take the GED or another HSE exam. Now is also a great time to work on improving your English language skills through our free English Language Acquisition (ELA) offerings.

Waubonsee Works
For qualifying individuals between 16-24 years old, the Waubonsee Works Program provides free tuition and books for a High School Equivalency Certificate (GED) or a short-term, career-focused certificate at Waubonsee.

Get Your Tuition Paid and Earn Money With An Apprenticeship


If you’re seeking a degree and a career Waubonsee has an exciting opportunity for you!
If hired into the apprenticeship program, you will receive:

  • Your Waubonsee Community College tuition paid* (up to $5,000 per year)
  • Paid on-the-job training at a competitive wage
  • Opportunities for permanent employment after graduation

Currently, there are opportunities in Automotive Technology, Automation Technology (Industrial Maintenance), Mechanical Drafter - Engineer

Job Searching

Unfortunately, furloughs and layoffs are the story in many companies, but there are some industries that are maintaining or even growing their workforces now. Use these resources to find and land those opportunities.

Find Opportunities
Prepare for the Process
  • Waubonsee’s Career Development page - provides resume and cover letter help, templates and videos, along with Candid Career series videos about virtual interviewing, creating a personal brand and more!
  • workNet Batavia Calendar 
    A lineup of helpful events that include a workNet services orientation, LinkedIn tips, resume best practices, interviewing tricks, and more.

Finding a New Direction

You may be taking this time to rethink your current job or career path. Explore your passions and industry projections to find the right fit.

Career Coach

Career Coach Tool
Free to use, this powerful tool features:

  • the ability to create an account so all your info saved and careers favorited 
  • Short, medium and long Career Assessments (6, 30 or 60 questions) to determine your interests and how they relate to careers
  • Personalized results from the Career Assessment that help you determine which Career Cluster is the best match for you 
  • Within your matches, search jobs by such criteria as average salary and education requirements, or simply explore the Waubonsee program that can best prepare you

Watch the Career Coach Tutorial now!

EMSI Regional Impact Report

EMSI Regional Impact Report (pdf)
If you want to go right after the careers that are hot right now, read this report. You can also look at the top skills employers are seeking and just focus on some training and education to strengthen those.

Understanding Unemployment and Using Your Benefits

Dealing with a job loss is never easy, and it’s even more difficult now as so many are trying to access similar resources. Admittedly, we’re the experts in education and training, not the unemployment system, but here are a few key links to help get you informed and moving in the right direction. 

State of IL Platforms

The Illinois workNet® platform
This new online platform from the Illinois Dept. of Commerce & Economic Opportunity – Office of Employment and Training/Illinois workNet is meant to be a one-stop shop for workforce development resources. Look here for important links, such as one to file for unemployment, as well as free online training events, and more.

Get Hired IL
Get Hired IL is another new state site designed to help job seekers and employers connect, along with providing additional info and resources.

Connect to Benefits and Services After a Layoff

Connect to Benefits and Services After a Layoff
For many of you, being laid off is something you’ve never dealt with before. This article from the Illinois workNet outlines some of the key benefits and services you may be seeking, including unemployment insurance, health insurance, housing assistance, local support, money management and student loan assistance.

Tips, Tools and Resources for the Laid Off Worker

Tips, Tools and Resources for the Laid Off Worker
Also from the Illinois workNet comes a listing of resources for the laid off worker. These almost 70 articles highlight topics ranging from Budgeting Basics to Building Skills Employers Want to Unemployment Insurance and Taxes and many more.