VIRGINIA – This year, Older Americans Month falls as both the national and local economies reach near-record heights. With increasing discussion on how to maintain a competitive advantage in this marketplace, one universal theme from both policymakers and CEOs is the need for skilled talent to sustain economic growth. The theme for Older Americans Month, Engage at Any Age, highlights that there’s no such thing as too old to engage in new endeavors. AEOA, in partnership with Senior Service America, has employment-training programs for seniors who demonstrate the strategic advantage that older workers bring to the U.S. economy.
Workers 55 and over are projected to make up 25 percent of the civilian labor force by the year 2020. This happens as the number of younger workers in America is set to decrease within a few years. In addition to new employees, there is a need for skills to support emerging industries and growing economies. In particular, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills are at a premium to sustain economic growth.
AEOA serves all groups of Americans, including military veterans. Advocates for veteran employment often say, “Hiring veterans is not goodwill. It’s good business.” The same can be said for hiring older workers. Older workers are a mature, skilled group of talent and research shows a multi-generation workforce makes better business decisions together.
The cornerstone of these efforts is the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). This is the only federal program targeted to help older workers. The SCSEP program provides experience and training that leads to permanent employment. To date, Senior Service America has placed 12,610 older workers into permanent employment through the SCSEP program.
Senior Service America works through a network of local partners, like AEOA, delivering career-training programs to 55-plus-yearold workers. These local partners are a key to the strength of the program and provide the systems to train older Americans to be a strategic advantage for employers and the country.