During the last full week of September, the U.S. Department of Labor celebrates National Employ Older Workers Week. This special week honors older workers and showcases the Senior Community Services Employment Program (SCSEP).
The goal of the event is to publicize the positive impact of older workers on the job and the barriers that prevent employment. Older job seekers continue to contribute to our workforce for economic reasons, reliable income, social connections, health insurance, having a purpose, having work goals, mental stimulation, or because they enjoy their job.
- For unemployed people 55 and older, about 54 percent had been jobless for 26 weeks or less, and about 47 percent for longer than that.
- In 2014, older workers represented 8.9% of the unemployed in the U.S. Of these, 198,000 did not look for work based on the belief no jobs were available for them.
Barriers to employment include stereotypes about older workers. They are too old, lack training, resist new technology, have trouble with young supervisors, cannot multitask, and rate low in production. While these barriers exist, AARP studies demonstrate these are often myths as older workers excel in these categories while offering organizations the perspectives and talent through a lifetime of experience.
Based in Akron, VANTAGE Aging provides community services to train, motivate, and empower older job seekers. Serving 38 Ohio counties, the organization administers seven regional Employment & Training Solutions Centers, where the SCSEP program is offered. Funded by the Department of Labor and the Ohio Department of Aging, the program provides on the job training for eligible unemployed older job seekers. Participants work an average of 20 hours per week at non-profit businesses and public facilities, earning the current minimum wage.
Support older job seekers and workers this week and every day. Recognize their contribution, especially if you are an employer and seeking job candidates. Older adults fill an important position in our economy and benefit America’s leadership in the world marketplace.
For more information about VANTAGE Aging and our Workforce Solutions program, visit our website at www.vantageaging.org or call our headquarters at 800-554-5335.