PRESTONSBURG – Older workers, those age 55 and over, play a crucial role in the fabric of the American economy, but many still face barriers to gaining employment in spite of their skills and decades of experience.
Floyd County Judge-Executive Ben Hale gave special attention to this issue on Wednesday by joining members of Big Sandy Area Community Action’s Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) to sign a proclamation declaring September 24-30 to be Employ Older Workers Week in Floyd County as part of an effort to—as the proclamation states—“make employers aware of a well-documented finding [that] by every common measure of job performance, older workers are at least as effective as younger people due to their unique pool of skills, experiences, and judgements.”
In fact, a report published last year by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center have found that older workers may even outperform younger workers in the key areas of motivation to work and complete tasks, leadership and mature decision making, loyalty to their company, work ethic, and customer service, especially the kind of face-to-face service that retailers rely on to build and maintain their bottom line.
“Hiring the mature worker is a win-win for the employer. They not only get a dependable and trustworthy employee, we can offer to reimburse the employer for the first 2 weeks pay for this new employee,” said Mike Goble, Director of SCSEP for BSACAP.
The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) is a community service and work-based job training program that provides training for low-income, unemployed seniors. Through the program, participants are initially paired with non-profit or public agencies and are paid for 15 hours of work each week. The training participants receive during this time serves as a bridge to help them gain unsubsidized employment.
Goble added, “I hope that we all will reach a mature age and it would be wonderful to know that, if we needed to have an extra income, there are employers who will give the mature worker the opportunity to stay viable and continue to be contributing members in their communities. If an employer would be interested in learning more about our program and the benefits of hiring the mature worker, they can contact me at 606-789-3041.”
At the proclamation signing ceremony, Judge Hale said, “We’ve become a baby boomer nation. As that generation grows older, we can’t overlook the experience, willingness to work, and the work ethic this group has always had. They are a vital part of the economy and the workforce.”
BSACAP and the county judge/executive joined together to make the public aware that “the majority of Americans age 55 and over are the nation’s greatest overlooked resource even though they are active, vital and in good health and the value of their contribution to American society represents a tremendous productive potential,” encourage older workers to take their place in the workforce, and encourage employers to take advantage of this pool of excellent candidates.
To learn more about SCSEP and how you can become involved either as a participant or an employer, contact Big Sandy Area Community Action Program at (606) 889-1772.