Workers over the age of 50 may find themselves changing careers late in life, either because they want to or because they are in a position where they need to support themselves until they can retire. There are many training programs that older workers can use to help them gain a competitive advantage when searching for a job.
The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) has a program called the Plus 50 Initiative. Under this program, participating community colleges provide learning programs targeted specifically towards the "over 50" demographic using funds from the non-profit organization The Atlantic Philanthropies. These new students learn new skills, train for specific careers, and can increase their marketability through volunteer and service activities. The Plus 50 Initiative is a pilot program with 13 original participating colleges and several more joining as affiliates.
Government Training Programs
The Older Americans Act of 1965 created a program called the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). The goal of SCSEP is to train workers over the age of 55 who are unemployed and do not possess any employable skills. This program is specifically for low income individuals. Under SCSEP, workers are employed at least 20 hours per week and are paid the highest minimum wage possible. Jobs for these workers include community service types of work in schools, hospitals, day care centers, or senior centers. Through this paid training, SCSEP hopes to place at least 30% of the workers into full time, private employment.
Workforce 50 is an online employment service that is targeted towards job seekers over the age of 50 who are making a career change by choice or circumstance. Workforce 50 is nationally known and also provides training opportunities, tips about self marketing and resume writing, and reference materials. In addition, the site has a large job bank from employers who are specifically seeking older workers.
Many charitable organizations make it their goal to help displaced older works find legitimate employment. Experience Works is a non-profit organization that works with seniors who need help with job training and job placement. This group believes that their are many advantages to employers who hire senior workers and work in conjunction with over 400 employers in the United States. As a non-profit organization, it is funded by grants and private donations.