U.S. Work World - Career News Briefs - February 2020
  • Taxes - 1040 Form for Ben Miller & Anna Scott
  • Taxes - Blank 1040 Form & Standard Deduction Worksheet
  • Taxes - "W" Forms

1040 is now two pages - no "short form" for teen workers.  Students may call VITA office for help with their tax form or location of office to visit.  Invite VITA volunteer to speak to your class?  1-800-906-9887



  • Carpenters
  • Graphic Designers
  • Dental Assistants
  • Aircraft Mechanics & Techs
  • Food Industry Jobs: Teamwork
  • Floral Designers
  • Retail Sales Workers
  • Nursing Assistants & Orderlies
  • Medical Assistants
  • Food Service Managers
  • Plumbers, Pipefitters & Steamfitters
  • Electricians
  • Social Service Assistants


What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is an arrangement in which you get hands-on training, technical instruction, and a paycheck-all at the same time. 

Apprentices work for a sponsor, such as an individual employer or a business-union partnership, who pays their wages and provides the training.

Formal apprenticeship programs usually last about 4 years, depending on the employer or occupation, although they may take as little as 12 months or as many as 6 years. Many of these programs are registered with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). 

At the end of a registered apprenticeship program, apprentices get a nationally recognized certificate of completion as proof of their skills.
Most common apprenticeship programs are: Boilermakers, Carpenters, Electricians, Elevator Installers/Repairers, Glaziers (glass install/repair), Insulation Workers/Mechanical, Ironworkers, Masonry Workers, Millwrights, Musical Instrument Repairers/Tuners, Plumbers/Pipefitters/Steamfitters, Sheet Metal Workers
Yearly Wages for Selected Skilled Trades Workers
  • $70,910  Electrical Power-Line Installers/Repairers
  • $55,190  Electricians
  • $53,910  Plumbers
  • $46,500  Carpenters
  • $46,450  Sheet Metal Workers
  • $43,680  Heavy & Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers
  • $35,800  Construction Laborers
To read the Bureau of Labor Statistics entire article on Apprenticeships, visit: 
To research and find apprenticeship programs in your community, visit:  Apprenticeship.Gov

Tech companies are exploring and implementing apprenticeship programs for careers in technology: Ford, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Sony, Sprint, Toyota, Twitter, Visa, and Walmrt.  

These employers are now hiring from previously overlooked segments of the workforce - those without higher education degrees or a previous job in technology. This is to help fix a severe shortage of workers in one of the fastest growing sector of the U.S. economy.  

IBM has offered apprenticeships since 2017, and has 500 apprentices in the U.S.   "Our university system only graduates 60,000 computer science degrees a year," said Jennifer Taylor, of consumer Technology Association, "Yet, we have over one million jobs in that space."   

Elon Mush, co-founder and CEO at Tesla, made headlines by saying he's accepting recruits without high school diplomas for the firm's artificial intelligence team.  
Here is what Elon Musk of Tesla said on February 2, 2020:

If you don't have a college degree, it won't hold you back from working for Tesla, Elon Musk tweeted on Sunday.   Musk is using Twitter to recruit for Tesla's artificial intelligence team.   "Join AI at Tesla!" Musk tweeted. The artificial intelligence team "reports directly to me and we meet/email/text almost every day."
"A PhD is definitely not required.  I don't care if you even graduated high school," Musk said.   Instead, Musk is looking for those with a "deep understanding" of artificial intelligence. And while "educational background is irrelevant" -- all candidates "must pass hardcore coding test," Musk said.

For a classroom lesson, log in to usworkworld.com, click on Career Lessons, and download:  Apprenticeship: Learn & Earn

Digital Manners

Workplace survey of worksites by the Public Relations Society of America discovered that 91% of businesses still use email and phone calls to communicate with people outside the business.  

Melissa Griffin, Human Resources Manager, said she has seen a decline in basic communication skills among entry-level workers and she attributes it, in part, to smartphones.  
"You can graduate high school without hardly ever having made a call.  You can do everything online - book reservations, book an Uber.  Teens are not hearing their parents make calls either," Ms. Griffin said.  "When I was younger, my parents did all of that out loud and I was learning by listening.  You'd pick up on etiquette."
As a result, many employers are now holding training sessions in basic communications skills such as how to politely answer a phone and write an email.  
Emily Post Institute offers training in etiquette. Daniel Post Senning, great-great-grandson of Emily Post, says that phone and email are the two most requested areas of etiquette training the Institute receives - and manners around these communication methods must be taught and practiced.

Fitness Trainers & Related Jobs

Bureau of Labor Statistics projects new job openings for fitness trainers, personal trainers, aerobics instructors, and their managers to grow by 15% - much faster than average until 2028.

Trainers and instructors must obtain short-term training that leads to certifications in speciality areas such as yoga, Pilates, or personal trainer.

Important Skills for these jobs include:
  • Customer-service skills
  • Communication skills
  • Listening skills
  • Motivational skills
  • Physical fitness
  • Problem-solving skills
Pay for fitness trainers, personal trainers, and aerobics instructors averages $22 hourly.  Managers average $33 hourly

Fitness trainers and instructors may earn extra money by traveling  to different gyms or to clients' homes to conduct personal training sessions. Some fitness trainers and instructors work other full-time jobs and teach fitness classes or personal training sessions part time during evenings or weekends.

Fitness trainer, personal trainer, and aerobics instructor jobs are excellent experience for college students who want to complete an Associate or Bachelor degree in Health Fitness, Sports & Exercise Science, Kinesiology, Physical Education, Recreation, and Exercise Physiology.

In fact, work experience in the sports and fitness industry is excellent preparation for sales and management jobs in the business world.  Skills practiced in the jobs of fitness trainer, personal trainer, and aerobics instructor are a perfect match to skills needed for high paying business sales and management jobs.

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