Older workers endured a staggering 331 percent increase in unemployment over the last 10 years, a new analysis conducted by the AARP Public Policy Institute shows. This dramatic rise in older unemployed workers has resulted in declining financial and retirement security for millions of Americans who have little time to make up the losses. To help raise awareness of the issues surrounding workers ages 55+, an AARP volunteer recently traveled to Washington, DC to make her voice heard.
Pat Troy-Brooks has been an AARP volunteer for several years and is CEO of Advanced Staffing and the Advanced Staffing Training Institute in Wilmington, a staffing agency and business school respectively, that is particularly helpful to older workers. Troy-Brooks knows first-hand the challenges facing these workers today.
“Our 55+ workers are hit especially hard by the economic downturn and the rise in unemployment,” she says.”Many don’t have the adequate computer skills or knowledge of technology to apply for jobs and compete in the workforce. At Advanced Staffing Training Institute, we offer training to help upgrade these skills and boost older worker’s confidence when they walk in to the interview.”
She also noted that the actual and perceived barriers can hold an older worker back. Some feel they will be discriminated against because of their age. “But I have seen the value of the mature worker. Their experience is highly valued; they are reliable, self-starters with a strong work ethic.”
Troy-Brooks was invited to visit the White House in January to participate in a meeting of the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, specifically to speak about Workforce Development and Employment Training.