MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Features

September 28, 2013

Staffing program helps older people upgrade job skills

Experience Works, a national nonprofit organization that operates the Senior Community Service Employment Program in Oklahoma, helps older job-seekers put their best feet forward to attract the attention of employers, according to a media release. Through customized training, participants increase their use of technology so they can apply for jobs online and incorporate technology on the job.

“We provide training and paid community service assignments in public and nonprofit organizations as a way to help update job skills and build confidence for unemployed older individuals who have been struggling to find work,” Vickie Kinsey, the state program manager for Experience Works, said in the release. “After a period of time, the older workers assigned to the nonprofits are perceived as so valuable, they are often hired into permanent jobs. If that does not happen, the work experience can provide the springboard they need to be hired by another employer in the community.”

Through a community service assignment with Experience Works, Cheryl Adkins, a longtime Muskogee resident, was able to update her job skills and transition to unsubsidized employment with Green Country Behavioral Health.

“When I applied for training with Experience Works, I was having a difficult time,” Adkins said in the release. “I had to retire before I was ready, and I needed new job skills and training to continue in the workforce. Experience Works was there. Experience Works gave me a quality of life, sense of purpose, built my self-esteem and the job training necessary to go back to work. I am now employed full time, enjoying the experience, and things are looking up! Thanks to Experience Works, I am truly an example of an older American that continues to be productive and successful in the workforce.”

Kinsey said older workers always have been valued employees because of their skills, work ethic, versatility, and ability to mentor other employees.

“Adkins’ participation in the Experience Works training program and her subsequent employment is a wonderful example of how our training program works,” she said.

National Employ Older Workers Week is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor to recognize the great contributions of workers ages 55 and older. The department estimates that they will make up 21 percent of the U.S. labor force next year.

Information: (877) 314-7568, (918) 623-1460 or experienceworks.org.

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