AARP Connecticut has provided financial support to The Workplace, Inc., southwestern Connecticut’s job development board, for a new program called Bridges to Employment. The program, which launched in early December, targets older, unemployed workers to help them gain the skills and relevant experience needed to return to the workforce.
See Also: Work Reimagined
AARP Connecticut helped recruit up to 25 participants from the greater Bridgeport/Stamford area for the intensive, 16-week program which consists of a series of employment-related seminars, and workshops, as well as customized one-on-one counseling and assistance geared to each individual’s specific needs.
As of October 2012, the average duration of unemployment for those age 55+ nationwide continued to be longer than one year. According to The Workplace, more than 100,000 unemployed Connecticut workers have exhausted their unemployment benefits without finding work.
AARP Connecticut State Director, Nora Duncan, said, “Older workers continue to struggle in the face of long periods of joblessness, with less hope today that they can find work quickly. AARP is focusing more and more on the 50+ worker and is developing new tools and resources that can help them achieve their individual goals and aspirations, such as our partnership with The WorkPlace, our new Work Reimagined website, a partnership with Linked In, and even more on the horizon.”
Many older workers need assistance in 21st century job search techniques, including how to use technology effectively as a job search tool. Through a series of seminars, Bridges to Employment participants in Connecticut will learn what skills and aptitudes employers are seeking and will gain insight into developing a plan for putting their skills and experience to good use. The seminars address topics such as job search in today’s market, finding work that matters (paid or unpaid), self-employment, wellness and financial planning.
The WorkPlace has demonstrated success in a similar program called Platform to Employment by placing 80 percent of participants in jobs. That program is being expanded to 10 cities nationwide, with financial support provided by AARP Foundation.
“The success of our programs is due to a wide circle of support by organizations that have stepped up to be a part of a dramatically different response to help put the long-term unemployed back to work,” said Joseph Carbone, President and CEO of The WorkPlace. “The WorkPlace is grateful for the foresight of organizations such as AARP Connecticut who believe that we can move beyond traditional remedies and that we have a responsibility to implement change.”
Find more information about The Workplace, and AARP job search and other work-related resources.