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Job Training for Older Workers

Programs help 50+ find employment

States News OR: Workforce - jobs training

Jill Drummond, center, participates in the PLUS+ Project, a program aimed at helping job seekers age 50 and older. — Photo by Toni Greaves

"From what I see right now, we're not going to have a shortage of participants," Guthrie said. "This program is built to get people back to work as quickly as possible with a new set of in-demand skills that employers in the community eagerly seek."

The PLUS+ Project aims to teach more than just job skills. The training also addresses how to ensure personal financial security. Participants will learn about money management, debt reduction, savings and investments, and long-term career planning. When taken all together, Guthrie said, it's more like life planning than short-term job training.

Dawn DeWolf, dean of workforce development for LCC, said those interested in the classes need to attend an orientation session. To qualify for the program, a candidate must meet certain prerequisites like having a pleasant telephone manner, customer service and marketing skills, and being able to type 35 words per minute.

The program aims to improve those skill levels. For example, those typing 35 wpm will be expected to increase to 65 wpm. In addition, attendees will learn how to provide telephone customer service while working on a computer at the same time.

"If someone is interested in the training who does not qualify, we will get them prepared and help them go through the process," DeWolf said.

Andrew Tuttle is a freelance writer living in Tualatin, Ore.

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