Saturday, October 18, 2008

Research Study Evaluates Government Programs in United States Helping Older Workers Obtain New Skills

A report by Heldrich Center researchers Carl Van Horn, Ph.D. and Maria Heidkamp reviews the federal government resources available to assist older unemployed job seekers and highlights examples of initiatives undertaken by states, community colleges, nonprofits and community-based organizations, and the private sector to help older workers find another job.

The study, also published as an issue brief by the Sloan Center on Aging & Work--"Older and Out of Work--Employer, Government and Nonprofit Assistance"--follows up on their earlier work. Among their conclusions is that only a small percentage of older unemployed workers will receive post-layoff assistance from their former employer and that finding that next job is likely to be difficult and time consuming--considerably more so than for younger job seekers—-and may require them to prepare for a new
career in a new industry.

While some primarily large employers do provide employees sufficient advance notice of a layoff and access to a range of outplacement and other services, small and mid-sized employers may not have the resources to offer post-layoff benefits. "They may need to seek opportunities to partner with government and nonprofit agencies in order to provide assistance to their older workers targeted for layoff. These opportunities may include participating in regional talent and skills alliances and sector strategies."

Source: John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development Home Page (October 16, 2008)

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