Workers 55+ get help finding jobs - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Blytheville, AR -- Lauren Payne Reports

Workers 55+ get help finding jobs

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

"It's ridiculously hard to find a job period, but it doesn't help to be 62.   They look at you like you're 62, what are you going to do for us? You're going to be retiring soon," said Karin Swanson.

Karin Swanson wasn't looking to retire.  She was homeless--living and volunteering at a shelter, and desperate for a job.

"There's all kinds of misconceptions about mature workers...that they're slow, that we can't learn new technology, and I want to put the kibosh on that right now," said Swanson.

Karin Swanson did get a job as the women's center manager at the Mississippi County Union Mission.  Thanks in part she says to training from Experience Works.

"We're an employment and training program and we work with people that are 55 and older," said Experience Works', Christy Manning-Owen.

Getting those mature workers back into the workforce is their mission.  At a time when the workforce is more competitive than ever, Experience Works helps train those 55 and older for jobs, then helps find them work.

"For some people they need the money, but for some people, it's more that they need something to look forward to, to feel like they're still contributing," said Owen.

Christy Manning Owen says they design training programs based on the job seeker's needs, skills they already have, and fields they want to work in.  Beneficial, Owen says, because they go into a job doing something they know.

"It's not all about spending all day learning something completely new, but just adding those things in as they're comfortable," said Owen.

For Karin Swanson, she says her job is a huge part her life.  She says the day she got the job--is the day she got a big part of her life back.

"I have skills, that I could make a valuable contribution from that day forward until I chose to stop or until God chose to stop me," said Swanson.

For more information about Experience Works, call 877-781-9953 or 870-933-9696.

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