Older workers make up a large portion of America’s workforce. While many individuals over the age of 55 may be overlooked in the workforce, Goodwill understands that older workers have the experience, know-how and the motivation to be productive, valued employees. Sometimes, older workers are just lacking an updated set of skills. In this case, Goodwill’s training and employment programs can help them get to where they need to be.
An AARP Life Reimagined survey, released in July 2016, showed that nearly 70 percent of workers age 35 and older hope to retire by the time they reach 65, but slightly more than half say they don’t actually expect to retire by that age — or at all. That finding is consistent with a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which indicates workers ages 55 and over are expected to make up nearly 25 percent of the labor force in the year 2024, up from about 22 percent in 2014. This will become the fastest growing segment of the workforce, with a rate of growth of 1.8 percent per year, or more than 3 times the growth rate of the overall labor force.
Goodwill is one of only 15 national nonprofit organizations authorized by the U.S. Department of Labor to administer the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) to provide assistance to older workers. When seniors come to Goodwill, job coaches create individual employment plans, administer basic skills classes and assist in job training, placement and eventual transition to non-subsidized employment. Goodwill’s SCSEP efforts have helped more than 8,502 older adults in local communities since 2006.
SCSEP, which was authorized by the Older Americans Act of 1965, is the only federally sponsored employment and training program targeted specifically to unemployed individuals with low incomes, aged 55 and older. Through SCSEP, these individuals receive paid training through part-time, service-oriented positions in their communities. The program aims to promote community service while helping participants achieve fiscal self-sufficiency.
To turn your stuff into job opportunities for older workers, all you have to do is donate items you’re no longer using to Goodwill.