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A water war in Southwest Utah has ranchers and Native tribes concerned, federal solar subsidies could help communities transition to renewable energy, and Starbucks workers attempt to unionize.

Nonprofit Job Training, Placement Program Puts Utah Seniors to Work


Friday, October 14, 2022   

A nonprofit program is helping older adults in Utah and other states to develop new skills, polish their resumes and find work.

After a lifetime of working, most people retire expecting to live a comfortable life. But circumstances can change, and people in their later years may find they need a job. Even with years of experience, re-entering the job market can be a daunting task.

Gina Jones, a senior employment specialist with the Easterseals-Goodwill Senior Community Service Employment Program, said seniors often underestimate their value to a potential employer.

"I promote the participant's experiences, what they have done and what they want to do," she said. "An employer is always open to hearing about these experiences - and what they do with that is up to them."

The federally funded program provides employment services for low-income adults older than age 55. People are paid during their training and, when hired, the program subsidizes their earnings for the first month on the job.

Jones has firsthand experience with the program. She said she started out as a job trainee with the agency, and later was invited to join the staff.

"I'm very grateful for the program," she said. "I was a participant back in 2007, and I was hired then in 2010. I've been doing this for a while, and it is a very worthwhile program and a good investment in older people."

Rod Haubrock, also a former participant who joined the staff, said part of his job is to engage potential employers and educate them about the advantages that older workers bring to a job, such as maturity and experience. He said he found some are receptive - and others express doubts.

"'Why would we hire somebody a year away from retirement when we can hire a 25-year-old and groom them to fit this company, and keep them for 20 years?' And it's a hard pill to swallow sometimes, but it's a reality," he said.

To find out more about the Easterseals-Goodwill program, and how to take advantage of its job training and career services, you can look online at esgw.org or call 800-771-2153.

Disclosure: Easterseals contributes to our fund for reporting on Disabilities, Livable Wages/Working Families, Mental Health, Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

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