Host said: What is the best training for becoming a hirable clerical support? What types of ongoing training or certifications are necessary to be an effective clerical support?
What do non-traditional career paths look like?
It really depends on what area you want to go into. Different fields require different skills. The basics you must have; softword knowledge; Word and Excel at the very least. These skills you can obtain in a number of ways. A software college course is always available, for credit and non-credit, better yet, and to earn a higher wage, you can obtain a 2 year certification in business applications at the community college level. Temp agencies such as Manpower often provide free software tutorials and other business training.
In any position one must be organized, efficient and learn how to multi-task as many jobs require it. Besides copying, faxing, filing, and being comfortable speaking with customers/clients, etc. it would behouve you to set up informational interviews directed towards the field you want to go into whether that's Medical, Educational, etc.
The medical arena may require more specifics; familiarity with anatomical/physiological terms, medical billing, coding, etc.
Info interviewing also offers an opportunity to establish networking where, once you have obtained the necessary skills, who you know will help get your foot in the door.
As far as non-traditional paths, checking with a community college/university women's centers can provide many resources to get you on track. Give it a shot and good luck!