Monday, March 22, 2010

Research: How Encore Careers Can Help Close Labor Shortage Gaps

A series of papers has been released by Civic Ventures, focusing on the coming labor shortage in the United States and making the case that providing job opportunities for older adults to work in the types of jobs they really want to pursue will increase the likelihood that they will work past traditional retirement age and help fill this economic gap. According to the lead report--"After the Recovery: Help Needed; The Coming Labor Shortage and How People in Encore Careers Can Help Solve It"--authored by Barry Bluestone, Mark Melnik Kitty, Michael Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy, Northeastern University, by 2018, there could be at least 5 million potential job vacancies in the United States, so that the nation will absolutely need older workers to step up and take them.
The research identifies 15 jobs that will provide the largest number of potential new encore career opportunities in the coming decade. The list is dominated by seven job categories in health care (registered nurses; home health aides; personal and home care aides; nursing aides, orderlies and attendants; medical assistants; licensed practical and vocational nurses; and medical and health service managers); three in education (teachers, teacher assistants and child care workers); others in nonprofits and government (business operations specialists; general and operations managers; and receptionists and information clerks); plus clergy and social and human service assistants.
The companion reports examine how creative approaches to staffing can help meet pressing problems in education, health care and the green economy, now and in the future: "How Boomers Can Help the Nation Go Green: Emerging Encore Career Opportunities in the Green Economy," produced by Council for Adult and Experiential Learning; "In How Boomers Can Help Improve Health Care: Emerging Encore Career Opportunities in Health Care," produced by Partners in Care Foundation; and "How Boomers Can Contribute to Student Success: Emerging Encore Career Opportunities in K-12 Education", produced by National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future.
“This research makes it clear that interest in encore careers can help solve long-standing social problems and an anticipated labor gap,” said Dennis White, president and CEO of MetLife Foundation [which sponsored the research]. “It’s time to think creatively about how to encourage and make use of this growing source of human talent.”
Source: Civic Ventures News Release (March 22, 2010)

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