Career Development/Job Searching Tips provided as a service of the Luzerne County Community College Workforce and Community Development Division

 TIP - Learn about high-growth industries and occupations and the skills that are needed to access these emerging opportunities. Visit since it's a lifelong learning tool that everyone can use to help bridge the gap between their education, their skills and also opportunities available in the workforce.

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 TIP - Did you know the U.S. government supports education by providing you with a variety of tax credits? Remember a tax credit is typically more valuable than a tax deduction. The credit is subtracted from the amount of TAX owed not just the Taxable income. Check with you tax advisor about Lifetime Learning and Hope tax credit options.

Selected copy from The Washington Post National Weekly Edition, pp 20-21, January 10-16, 2005

Middle Class No More: After a layoff and job retraining, an average wage earner fall further behind..

By Jonathan Krim and Griff Witte

This new era requires that workers shoulder more responsibility and risk on the way to financial security, economists say. It also demands that they be nimble in an increasingly fluid job market. Those who don't obtain some combination of specialized skills, higher education and professional status that can be constantly adapted will be in danger of sliding down the economic ladder to low-paying service jobs, usually without benefits.

Analysts say retraining will be key because tomorrow's middle class jobs are likely to be enhanced variations of today's lower-wage jobs. Clerical positions keeping medical records, for instance, are being transformed into higher-paying technician jobs that are structured to involve both computer skills and the ability to talk to doctors and nurses.

It is that combination of technology savvy, analytical thinking and interpersonal skills that could be the magic formula for U.S. workers-whether the jobs are in health care, education, financial services or any other field. Jobs that involve all three qualities, says Thomas A. Kochan, an MIT management professor, are hard to duplicate with machines or with low-wage workers from abroad, putting the Americans who fill them in a strong position to demand not just good wages, but benefits, too.