Job Resources for Older Workers
For older workers re-entering the workforce, either after retirement or after a considerable amount of time off, the process may seem daunting. And the hesitation is not unwarranted.
According to research by the Harvard Business Review and Deloitte, two-thirds of companies consider workers over the age of 45 to be less desirable and less competitive than their younger colleagues. However, the outlook for this generation of older workers is not completely bleak — on the contrary, older workers are finding work like never before.
“Over the last 15 years, the percentage of employees age 50 and older has grown more than 25 percent, and within five years is expected to account for almost 40 percent of the total U.S. workforce,” said Jo Ann Jenkins, CEO of AARP.
The resources to tap into your potential as a new employee are there, whether through job boards like Workforce50.com, mature worker-friendly companies, internships aimed at older workers, or re-training and coaching programs. Keep your eye on these companies and job programs that are taking advantage of the boom in older workers.
1. Companies that are hiring older workers
CVS Health – 25% of their workforce consists of older workers over the age of 50, and with the help of their Talent is Ageless program, you’re sure to find a company that values your wisdom and experience.
FCCI – Even if you don’t have experience in insurance, FCCI Insurance Group offers plenty of jobs for different skillsets. For those looking to get into insurance sales, there is the FCCI School of Excellence, which offers learning opportunities for their employees, including 50 percent who are over the age of fifty.
Urban Health Plan – Having won one of the Age Smart Employer awards last year, United Health Plan is also an attractive “encore career” prospect because of their training program that helps employees rise through the ranks.
2. Returnships: paid internships for older workers
Returnships are programs aimed at workers who have been out of the workforce for a few years and are looking to update their skillset, acquire new ones, and re-enter the industries they left a while back.
For skilled workers that have simply taken some time off to care for a family member and are trying to find ways to handle a lapse in your resume, a returnship is a great opportunity to show employers you’ve stayed active.
Cloudflare – The Path Forward “Return to Work” program – Cloudflare has partnered with the Path Forward program to offer a 16-week “returnship” aimed towards workers interested in marketing, engineering, software programming, and more. You can learn more in their blog and browse more opportunities in the Path Forward website.
Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Apprentice School – Apprenticeships are not just for younger people. For older workers interested in manufacturing, engineering, and management services, enrolling in Ingalls Industries’ Apprentice School is an opportunity to refine that good old knowledge and learn new skills. Also, of the 21,000 employees from Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding, around 3,000 are Apprentice School alumni, and many occupy leadership positions.
3. Training & Coaching Programs
“The industries that are now “re-careering” older workers include manufacturing, retail, and some professional services. Josh Bersin, founder of the Josh Bersin Academy for HR and business leaders, recommends, “What I would recommend older workers focus on is their work experience, ability to work in teams and manage others, experience in customer service and other service-related roles, and their industry expertise. Technical skills can be ‘re-developed’ easily.”
AARP “Back to 50+” Foundation – This program provides training, coaching and job-seeking tools for retirees for in-demand jobs in Information Technology and Healthcare. AARP’s “Back to 50+” Foundation offers all-around guidance with the help of partners like community colleges, private organizations and state institutions.
NCOA Toolkit and Senior Community Service Employment program – The NCOA’s Senior Community Service Employment program provides training and part time work specifically in non-profit organizations. If you’re 55 or older and unemployed, you could apply to be one of 65,000 older workers who receive paid training for jobs like childcare, customer service, computer technician, teacher’s aide, maintenance worker, and health care work.
Operation A.B.L.E.- This nonprofit organization can serve as your right hand if you’re an older worker trying to navigate this new workforce. A.B.L.E assists mature workers with training programs, internships and apprenticeships, job seeking, older-worker friendly employers, and special services for military veterans.