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AARP Grant to Help Older Ohioans Land Jobs

AARP Foundation has awarded a $100,000 Recession Recovery grant to the Community Action Program in Marietta to help put older Ohioans back to work.

“Older workers have been out there knocking and knocking on doors, and when they keep at it and they don’t open, they question whether anyone is ever going to give them a chance,” says David E. Brightbill, executive director of the Washington-Morgan Community Action Organization.

The AARP Foundation Recession Recovery grant will allow Community Action to create individualized plans that secure skills training, job search counseling and basic support for job seekers age 50+ in southeastern Ohio’s rural Appalachian counties of Washington and Morgan, where unemployment rates reached as high at 18.5% in 2010.

“We will be working with Marietta Memorial Hospital, our largest employer in the area, on skills training and to correct job readiness gaps. It helps people to know that someone is in their corner and willing to help.”

Brightbill noted in his grant application, “Although our area is faced with substantial challenges for gaining employment, there are opportunities for employment in growing industries. The largest employer in our service area is the Marietta Memorial Healthcare System. As the aging population continues to grow there is frequently the need for employees at the local hospitals in all areas of employment... the CAO Recession Recovery program will give low-income 50+ individuals the tools and support to successfully gain employment.”

The CAO’s Recession Recovery program will have each participant assigned a case manager who will work to identify the individual’s needs and barriers, and create a customized plan to meet short- and long-term goals. They will guide job seekers to upgrade their skills and receive on the job training. CAO also is partnering with Washington State Community College to provide classroom training and workshops on social networking, interviewing skills and resume writing.

Recession Recovery grants are one way in which AARP Foundation is working to reverse the downward spiral that many older Americans and their families face. Across the country, every day some 20 million low-income older individuals struggle to secure their most basic needs in life — such as food or shelter — with limited or no financial resources. Over 3 million older adults are searching for work and many are dealing with the impact of long-term unemployment.

Last year AARP Foundation awarded grants totaling $3.7 million nationwide to multiple non-profit organizations through a competitive grant process. The Foundation’s grants program focuses on four impact areas: Hunger, Housing, Income and Isolation. Learn more about the AARP Foundation’s grants program.

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