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Programs in Florida Help Older Workers Seek Employment

Resources burnish skills, offer training

Haynes said she emphasizes that "they bring maturity, real-world good sense and life experiences that translate to a solid, long-lasting employee."

As the economic downturn continues, other programs offering help to unemployed people 50 and older have emerged.

For instance, help can be found at one of nearly 100 One-Stop Career Centers in Florida.

The no-cost program, sponsored by the state Department of Economic Opportunity, offers job search assistance, access to labor market information, career guidance, training and other services to job seekers in all income and age brackets.

Tips for entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs — and would-be business owners — can get tips from the Encore Entrepreneur program launched in October by AARP and the Small Business Administration.

"The groups joined forces to provide Americans over the age of 50 with the real-world, actionable information they need to start and grow small businesses," said Victoria Funes, AARP Florida associate state director for community outreach.

"More and more older workers expect to go into business for themselves, and the two groups plan to jointly counsel, train or mentor over 100,000 new and existing entrepreneurs nationwide during the next year," she said.

The emerging reliance on social media to locate jobs prompted AARP to launch Work Reimagined, a free interactive networking program using LinkedIn to connect more than 100 employers nationwide who value experienced workers with those searching for employment.

The Work Reimagined website also has a "discussions" section so job seekers can post questions, ideas and encouragement.

Linda Haase is a writer living in Boynton Beach, Fla.

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