Resources For Job-Hunting Seniors
Can you recommend some good resources to help job-hunting seniors? I’m 60 years old and have been out of work for nearly six months now and need some help. What can you tell me?
The tough employment market over the past few years has been particularly hard on people over the age of 55. Fortunately, there are a number of online tools and in-person training centers scattered across the country today that can help. Here’s what you should know.
A good first step to get help finding a job is at a Career One-Stop center. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, these are free job resource centers that can help you explore career options, search for jobs, find training, write a résumé, prepare for an interview and much more. There are around 3,000 of these centers located throughout the country. To find one near you, call 877-348-0502 or go to www.careeronestop.org.
Depending on your financial situation, another program that may help is the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). Also sponsored by the Department of Labor, SCSEP offers access to training and part-time job placements in a wide variety of community service positions such as daycare centers, senior centers, governmental agencies, schools, hospitals, libraries and landscaping centers. To qualify, participants must be over 55, unemployed and earning less than 125 percent of the federal poverty level, $13,600 a year. Unfortunately, 2011 federal budget cuts have significantly reduced this program’s funding, but it’s still a viable option. To learn more or locate a program in your area, visit www.doleta.gov/seniors or call 877-872-5627.
In addition to national resources, some states, communities and local nonprofit organizations may offer their own senior employment programs. For example, in certain areas in Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, Washington state and Wisconsin, Aging Worker Initiative programs help local job seekers 55 and older. To find out if your community offers any locally based senior employment programs, contact the area Agency on Aging. Call 800-677-1116 or visit www.eldercare.gov to get your local number.
Another resource that offers free job help is the AARP Foundation WorkSearch Virtual Job Coach program. This is a volunteer-run program that helps any job-seeker, not just AARP members, age 40 and older, by connecting the job seeker with a trained volunteer to help search for jobs and get training. The coaching is typically done via e-mail or over the phone. Call 877-659-0969 or visit www.aarpworksearch.org to find help.
In addition, AARP also offers a jobs search engine that you can access at www.jobs.aarp.org. Or, if you want in-person assistance, AARP has 23 WorkSearch facilities around the country that provide free faceto face help. To search for a facility, contact your state AARP office. Visit www.aarp.org/states or call 888-687-2277 for contact information.
A wide array of online employment networks can help you connect with companies that are interested in hiring older workers. One of the best is www.retirementjobs.com, which offers a job search engine that lists more than 30,000 jobs nationwide from companies that are actively seeking workers over the age of 50. It also provides job-seeking tips and advice, helps with résumé writing and allows job seekers to post their résumés online for companies to find you.
Start a Business
If you’re interested in starting a small business but could use some help getting started, turn to the U.S. Small Business Administration, which offers tips, tools and free online courses that you can access at www.sba.gov. Also, go to www.score.org, a nonprofit association that provides free business advice for entrepreneurs.
Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit www.savvysenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to “The NBC Today Show” and author of The Savvy Senior books.
The Gazette does not endorse the contents of The Savvy Senior. Check with professionals about the contents of this column.
Some other 50-plus job seeking sites
worth a look are:
www.enrge.us (a site devoted to retired
government employees) and
www.yourencore.com (an online
recruitment firm that connects retired
scientists, developers and engineers
with companies that offer consulting