With my background in higher education, it should come as no surprise that I’m particularly fond of collegial efforts. In my years at Wells College, my greatest satisfaction always came from accomplishments that involved contributions from a variety of groups – students, faculty, administrators, staff, alumni, parents and the local community. Often I saw my role as facilitating others to work together and to get the best out of one another.
It’s been the same for me here at AARP Foundation. We are always at our best when we are working with others, combining strengths to reach our goals. That’s why I’m especially proud of our BACK TO WORK 50+ program, which just last month received a significant financial boost in the form of a $3 million federal investment from the Social Innovation Fund (SIF), part of the Corporation for National and Community Service.
See Also: Learn more about the SIF grant
SIF was launched by the White House in 2009 with the specific goal of supporting community-based solutions for low-income people through a combination of public and private funding. As President Obama said in announcing the fund, “Instead of wasting taxpayer money on programs that are obsolete or ineffective, government should be seeking out creative, results-oriented programs … and helping them replicate their efforts across America.”
What a perfect fit for BACK TO WORK 50+! We launched the program a couple of years ago to help 50+ low-income job seekers, especially women, by connecting them to local job-search resources and giving them best-practice advice on how to improve their skills and increase their visibility to local employers – and how to restore financial stability once they re-enter the workforce. Last year, we announced an exciting relationship with community colleges around the country, which have been putting the BACK TO WORK 50+ approach into effect, through short-term training opportunities and job-search resources. Collaborating with community colleges, which have always been an important resource for low-income older women, allows us to collectively be even more effective in helping older job seekers find work.
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