Skip to Content

12 Successful Get Back to Work Programs

12 Successful Get Back to Work Programs

Ready to get back to work but don’t know where to start? Let us help you! We have researched and listed government and community programs that could help you get back to work.

Whether you are looking to get back into a field you know or you’re looking to try something new, knowing where to start can be a challenge. Thankfully, there are many programs created specifically to help people get back to work. 

In this article we will discuss a few government initiatives and also nationwide organizations that offer back to work programs. Most of these programs provide services such as career counseling, job training, interview skills, or job placement. Keep reading to find a program that could work for you!

Government Programs that Help You Get Back to Work 

The US Government has many initiatives to help individuals get back to work. Some departments have their own programs, such as the Department of Veteran Affairs and Social Security Administration, but most of the programs fall under The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

In 2014 the United States government passed The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act to help job seekers access support, education, training, and employment. The WIOA created a simplified national structure for workforce development. It established multiple programs to help individuals get back to work as well as two vital resources. 

American Job Centers

These centers serve as hubs offering a range of employment related services to job seekers, workers, and employers. American Job Centers bring together multiple programs, including those under WIOA, to provide services such as job search assistance, career counseling, skill assessments, training opportunities, and access to employment resources. 

You can connect with these resources at your nearest American Job Center.

Adult Programs

The WIOA Adult program focuses on providing employment and training services to adults, aged 18 and older, with barriers to employment. The Adult program aims to help individuals enhance their employability, gain new skills, and secure employment. The program does this through training services such as career counseling, skills assessments, interview skills, and access to job specific training programs. In addition, the Adult Program may offer some supportive services such as transportation and childcare assistance.

Eligibility for the adult program is generally based on factors such as income, employment status, and other criteria. Individuals facing challenges such as limited education, limited English, disabilities, or other barriers to employment may be prioritized for services under this program. 

Dislocated Workers

This program is designed to assist individuals who have lost their jobs due to circumstances such as plant closures, mass layoffs, or other significant economic disruptions. The Dislocated Worker program provides a range of employment and training services to help these individuals re-enter the workforce. Some of these services include job specific training, developing plans for reemployment, and job search assistance. The Dislocated Worker program also may provide supportive services such as transportation assistance and childcare.

Eligibility for the Dislocated Worker program is generally based on criteria related to job loss and displacement.

Youth Program 

The Youth Program focuses on providing workforce development services to young people between the ages of 14 and 24. This program aims to assist youth in gaining the skills, education, and work experience necessary to enter the workforce successfully. Key elements of the Youth program include, educational support, internships, job shadowing, and mentoring. 

Eligibility is often determined at the state and local levels, with a focus on addressing the unique needs of each community. Generally targeting individuals between the ages of 14 and 24, the program prioritizes youth facing various barriers to employment. 

Career One Stop

Career One Stop is an online companion to the American Job Centers. Career One Stop can be used to find a job, explore a new career, locate a training, or find local resources. Additionally, you can find all the American Job Centers and other job assistance programs near you.

Career One Stop also has a section to explore careers including skills assessments and guidance on how to find a career. 

Veterans Affairs Programs

If you are a veteran, spouse, or dependent of a veteran you may be eligible for programs through the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Department of Veterans Affairs offers programs that could help you get back to work such as career counseling and job training. Please visit the VA’s website for a full list of programs and eligibility.

Ticket to Work Program

The Ticket to Work program is a federal initiative designed to help individuals with disabilities transition to work and achieve greater economic independence. Administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA), the Ticket to Work program provides recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) with the support and resources needed to enter or re-enter the workforce.

If you receive SSI or SSDI and you want to get back to work, this program can make it easier to make the transition. It offers several protections for your benefits. You can learn more about the program on the Social Security website

Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment

Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) is a program that focuses on providing reemployment assistance to individuals receiving Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. Administered by the U.S. Department of Labor, RESEA aims to help unemployed individuals return to work more quickly by offering personalized assessments and reemployment assistance.

To learn more about RESEA, visit or contact your nearest American Job Center.

Registered Apprenticeship Program 

The Registered Apprenticeship Program combines on the job training with classroom instruction to provide individuals with valuable skills. Administered by the U.S. Department of Labor, this structured training program allows participants to earn money while mastering the practical aspects of their chosen profession.

The program covers a wide range of industries, including construction, healthcare, information technology, and manufacturing. Apprentices work under the guidance of experienced mentors and gain hands on experience. Successful completion of a Registered Apprenticeship leads to a nationally recognized qualification, enhancing participants’ employability and helping them get back to work.

For more information and to apply, please visit the website

Other Get Back to Work Programs 

Most of the following programs are available nationwide, but a few are only available in certain states. There are likely smaller local organizations that also offer programs that help individuals get back to work. As mentioned, Career One Stop is a great resource to find local programs. 


Goodwill’s job training program empowers individuals facing barriers to employment by providing them with skills and support to enter or re-enter the workforce successfully. Often Goodwill pairs participants with a career coach and offers services such as vocational training, resume building, interview preparation, and job placement.

Goodwill Career Centers are nationwide, so you just need to find the nearest Goodwill Career Center to get started. 

The Urban League 

The Urban League is a civil rights and social service organization with a mission to empower African Americans and other underserved communities to achieve economic self-reliance, equality, and social justice. The Urban League provides multiple programs that help individuals get back to work, such as career counseling, job training, and apprenticeship programs. They also have programs specifically for seniors, youth, and those interested in entering the tech field.

Thirty-six states have an Urban League and each Urban League differs in the programs they offer. You can search for your state’s Urban League to get started.  

America Works

America Works is a job readiness program located in 13 states and the District of Columbia. America Works helps participants get back to work by teaching hard and soft skills and preparing participants for interviews. Additionally, America Works continues support even after the participant obtains a job. Please note, their website needs updating but we have confirmed that their locations are still open.

If you live in California, DC, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington, or Wisconsin you can find the contact information for your nearest America Works to get started.

Society of St. Vincent de Paul 

Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) is a Catholic charity located nationwide. SVdP offers many programs, including a get back to work program. Their program Back2Work provides training, education, resources, and mentorship to unemployed or underemployed individuals.

Please note, each SVdP location will vary in what they offer. This program may not be available at all locations.

Career Works

Career Works’ mission is to connect individuals to lasting careers through free training and supportive partnerships. Career Works particularly focuses on connecting participants to careers within the banking and non-clinical healthcare fields.

Career Works is only available in 11 states, but they also offer nationwide virtual training. For more information and to see if there is a Career Works near you, please visit their website

Hire Heroes

Hire Heroes is a national nonprofit that provides free employment services for transitioning military members, veterans, and military spouses. They offer personalized career coaching, job search assistance, and workshops. For more information and to register for services, please visit the Hire Heroes website.

Returnship Programs 

A returnship is similar to an internship but specifically for individuals who took some time off work (usually for caregiving or family reasons). Many companies offer returnships that help people enter back into the workforce. Many of the returnships are paid and often the returnships can end in a job offer with the company.

For a full list of companies that offer returnships, please visit Path Forward.

Relief Recap

Reentering the workforce can be stressful, but we hope this article has shown that you are not alone. There are many programs that could help you get back to work. Government programs can be accessed through your local American Job Center, and most of the community program have online applications. Don’t forget to look for additional programs near you through the Career One Stop database or check out our other posts on Entry Level No Degree Jobs and Remote No Degree Jobs!

Marie McCollum has a Masters of Social Work from the University of Georgia. She is currently the Director of Programs for a non-profit in Decatur, Georgia.