Older workers retrained for new jobs
Older workers can have new careers through Experience Works, a program that targets people 55-years-old and older to retrain for jobs with governmental agencies and non-profit organizations.
According to Experience Works material, by 2012, the number of workers from 55-64 will grow by more than 50 percent.
The program already employs nearly 100 people in a six-county area and nearly a dozen in Pocahontas County alone.
ﾓYou must be 55, unemployed and meet certain economic guidelines,ﾔ said the programﾒs director Joan Reid.
Reid runs the program for Greenbrier, Mercer, McDowell, Monroe, Pocahontas and Summers counties from her Lewisburg office.
ﾓItﾒs not a public assistance program,ﾔ Reid explained at last Wednesdayﾒs open house. ﾓWeﾒre job developers working between clients and employers.ﾔ
Experience Works trains workers for whatever the hiring agency needs them to do, from . EW not only trains employees, but pays them, as well, so the agency has an extra pair of hands for free.
ﾓItﾒs such a good program,ﾔ Reid said. ﾓItﾒs really a win-win.ﾔ
Reid said the program now has people with masterﾒs degrees and people with GEDs, but all have found themselves ﾓbetween a rock and a hard place.ﾔ
Although a worker must be 55, there is no cap on how old he or she can be, and Reid said that the oldest worker in the West Virginia program is in her 90s.
Older workers are more reliable, have less drama in their lives, donﾒt come in hungover, donﾒt call in sick because their kids are sick and theyﾒre cheaper to insure because they donﾒt have to insure a family, Reid said.
EW clients stay in the program for a certain period of time, and then, Reid hopes the hiring agency will find themselves with a fully-trained worker. Thatﾒs the goal, she said, to get mature workers hired permanently in new jobs.
ﾓWe want the worker to be happy and we want the employer to be happy,ﾔ she said.