Workforce Trends Emphasize the Need for Lifelong Learning Programs

We often see reminders about why our work is so important.  Last month, the World Economic Forum published about the aging of the global workforce, and underlines the importance of the mature worker as the fastest growing segment of the workforce, and the one with the largest skill base.Their data shows that mature workers are a growing part of the workforce in almost every country, and that lifelong learning programs- like the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)- are critical to a healthy labor supply and a healthy economy.

Workforce development can be a big problem: but we are part of the solution! We have provided training and employment services to over 1,200 mature workers in the last 5 years. We’ve helped individuals, communities, and businesses adapt to workforce changes. We’ve connected growing businesses with a pool of great candidates to help meet their needs. We’ve made big differences in the lives of individuals, and strengthened communities.

We found this research to be compelling and motivating. Why do you think the mature worker is valuable? Join the conversation!

Watching the SCSEP on Capitol Hill

Our friends at Employment and Training Reporter help bring attention to the latest news about the Senior Community Service Employment Program on Capitol Hill. A4td founder and president Patricia Elmer, along with Vice President Thomas Saylor, regularly advise on  SCSEP issues at the national level.  They are currently working with Senator Sanders and his staff to educate Congress about the need for the SCSEP.  Read the latest results of their efforts here.

 

We Celebrate National Employ Older Workers Week

Here at a4td, we are happy to celebrate National Employ Older Workers Week September 22 – 28. This is a Department of Labor initiative that “recognizes the vital role of older workers in the workforce.”

We partner with employers throughout Vermont and Connecticut to build opportunities and open up doors for mature workers. A few examples? This month our participants have gotten exciting jobs with Vermont Country Store, locally owned carpentry companies, the State of Vermont, and the Western CT Area Agency on Aging, among others. We are using the Trial Employment program to facilitate hires with the Bennington Chamber of Commerce, a local elementary school, an appliance retailer, and more.  We are attending Workforce Investment Board meetings, collaborating with the Business and Professional Women’s associations and Chambers of Commerce, and welcoming new employers who open up in our towns with smiles, friendly visits, and info about how we can help them.  In 31 years, we have never been more excited about all the opportunities available to our SCSEP participants.

Whether you’re an employer, an older job seeker, or a service provider, we hope you think of older workers the way we do: as an absolutely vital part of our workforce, who can mentor younger employees, who work reliably, with integrity, and a great attitude. We administer SCSEP by celebrating lifelong learning, and keeping our mission close to our hearts. We join our partners and friends in this national, week long event, and look forward to hearing about how others are marking the occasion. Learn more about National Employ Older Workers Week, and join the conversation, here!

Unleash the Power of Age: Older Americans Month 2013

We celebrate the 50th anniversary of Older Americans Month! Every year since 1963, May has been a month to appreciate and celebrate the vitality and aspirations of older adults and their contributions to our communities. We see the contributions of our SCSEP participants every day, and thanks to them, our program has never been stronger.  We have thriving partnerships with over 130 host agencies. Our participants have performed almost 160,000 hours of community service so far this year, and almost 25,000 of those hours were in direct service to the elderly community. We find inspiration and motivation in their remarkable achievements.aoa-badge-experience

Learn more about Older Americans Month. Or, follow our conversations on Facebook!

“Crossing the digital divide”: helping mature workers get online

We are more dedicated than ever to helping our mature workers “cross the digital divide,” to get and stay online. 100% of our SCSEP participants are exposed to online learning and job search activities at some point during their stay. We are excited to partner with Knowledgewave to offer online software learning options to participants who need it. This training is self-paced, and participants can choose the style of learning that works best for them. These are the kinds of training options that many mature workers need to strengthen their computer skills to allow them to apply for jobs electronically.

Here’s a blog post from the Benton Foundation  with their take on the need for more technology training options for seniors.

Do you know a mature worker who might benefit from occupational skills training, or technology training? Contact us! If you’re ineligible for the SCSEP, we’ll be happy to direct you to someone who can help.

Improving the outlook for mature workers

One of the exciting things we’re working on this winter is adding to the dialogue of the Governor’s Commission on Successful Aging, which endeavors to improve the outlook for mature worker participation in the Vermont workforce.  Read the concept paper, which describes the broader effort of the Commission.  A4td participants offer input and perspective on challenges, needs, and strengths of mature workers with respect to participation in the workforce.

What do you think are the challenges mature workers face? What unique contributions do you think they bring to an employer? Share your story!

 

Innovative training opportunities enrich participant experiences

In addition to the live occupational skills training received at their host sites, a4td’s SCSEP participants have access to a wealth of other training opportunities. One of our most innovative trainings: the Money Smart program, administered by the financial professionals at Merchants Bank. Every SCSEP office in the state of Vermont has offered Money Smart to participants. How exciting!

See Rick Bugbee, our Director of Training and Program Operations, comment on the Money Smart program with Merchants Bank: http://www.mbvt.com/financial-education/partner-profiles/

Great training opportunities through AWI

An exciting week for the Aging Worker Initiative (AWI)! We were able to fund courses for several participants to gain credentials that will help them in their job search. Some of the courses we funded this week include: Basic Computer Skills, Medical Coding, Basic Tax Preparation, and General Green Energy. How exciting it will be to watch these Participants utilize these trainings! Our AWI program provides training and advancement opportunities for Vermonters age 55+ in high-growth sectors of the economy. Maybe we can help you! Find out by calling 800-439-3307 x 24 or contact us here.

Letter from Senator Sanders supporting OAA

The need for programs for older adults and workforce development are higher than ever! The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) is the only federally funded jobs training program specifically targeted to mature workers.

We are proud of the efforts of Vermont’s Senator Bernie Sanders to support the Older Americans Act (OAA), which includes the SCSEP. In this letter, he and other U.S. Senators support the increase of programmatic funding levels for the OAA.