Thursday, May 8, 2008

Barriers to Employment for Older Americans


Cynthia Metzler is president and CEO of Experience Works, a national nonprofit organization that provides training, community service and employment support for older people.

If you are an older worker who wants to re-enter the workforce, find an Experience Works location near you.

In an article for the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals, she states, "We know that older workers are productive, effective and anxious to learn."

She cites these statistics to support the value of older workers to the labor pool:

1. Society of HR Managers (www.shrm.org) study shares that 77% have a higher level of commitment to the organization than younger workers.
2. Buck Consultants survey shares that 88% of employers said that mature workers' knowledge provided a significant business advantage.
3. A study by NCOA and McDonalds, says that 97% of employers surveyed said older workers were thorough and reliable.

Here are some of the suggestions Metzler offers to employers bringing older workers on board:

1. Make investments in training
2. Create an older-worker friendly environment
3. Offer flexible schedules and benefits

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