The United States is undergoing a demographic shift that is changing older Americans' relation to the workplace. The average and median age of the U.S. population is rising, and the composition of the workforce with it.
By 2020, it is estimated that workers 55 and over will make up 25% of the U.S. civilian labor force, up from 13% in 2000. In addition, individual workers are tending to remain in the workforce longer and retire later. The number of workers over the traditional retirement age of 65 is seeing a marked increase, and it is projected that they will make up more than 7% of the American labor force by 2020.
A number of programs are aimed at taking advantage of the undergoing demographic shift and getting SCSEP participants trained for and placed in occupations that are seeing increased demand.
National Employ Older Workers Week held the last full week of September each year, for example, recognizes the vital role of older workers in the workforce. Showcasing SCSEP, in particular, the National Employ Older Workers Week aims to increase awareness of the older worker labor segment and allow employers to develop innovative strategies to tap into it.
One of those employers is Allied Barton Security Services. AlliedBarton district offices across the country have been supporting the National Employ Older Workers Week initiative by dedicating at least one day during the week to exclusively recruit, review and interview mature workers, as well as further develop relationships with organizations who strive to place these candidates. AlliedBarton recruiters have been working closely with AARP and the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA) to host and promote hiring events. Another successful arrangement is one with Experience Works in the State of Oregon where Allied Barton alerts Experience Works of all job openings, allowing SCSEP staff to notify participants of the opportunities right away.
Speaking of Experience Works, the organization recently launched the "Blended Learning Training Program". It combines virtual instructor-led occupational training courses with computer-based and online training tools, complementing the community service work experiences for SCSEP participants, while leveraging existing training resources, and creating more flexible and personalized learning options that are more adaptable to the needs and preferences of older individuals. The program is a success so far with many graduates coming away from it with new hope and skills to offer the workplace.
Senior Community Service
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