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Archive for Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Older job seekers explore options

Senior population seen as attractive to employers

Using a diagram, Jeannine Wyatt, a recruiter with Express Employment Professionals, compares the troubles of a growing senior population moving through the work force to pushing a watermelon through a garden hose. Wyatt led a seminar called “You Reinvented!” during the third annual Senior Employment Expo at the Lawrence Senior Center, 745 Vt. The event was to help local seniors realize what jobs may be available to them.

Using a diagram, Jeannine Wyatt, a recruiter with Express Employment Professionals, compares the troubles of a growing senior population moving through the work force to pushing a watermelon through a garden hose. Wyatt led a seminar called “You Reinvented!” during the third annual Senior Employment Expo at the Lawrence Senior Center, 745 Vt. The event was to help local seniors realize what jobs may be available to them.

September 23, 2009

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Nicholas Thorp, a 55-year-old new to Lawrence, listens to a speaker during the Senior Employment Expo. Thorp said he is semi-retired but would like to get back into professional life.

Nicholas Thorp, a 55-year-old new to Lawrence, listens to a speaker during the Senior Employment Expo. Thorp said he is semi-retired but would like to get back into professional life.

Seniors look to get back into work force

Area seniors and retired people looking to jump back into the work force attended a local job fair Tuesday. Some local businesses are looking to hire experienced help both part-time and full-time. Enlarge video

Janet Ikenberry wasn’t surprised a crowd of about 150 senior citizens and retirees flocked to a job fair Tuesday at the Lawrence Senior Center, 745 Vt.

“They are wanting to work longer. Some of them are needing to work longer with the current economic situation, and a lot of people lost a lot of money in their retirement savings,” said Ikenberry, community services manager for Senior Services of Douglas County.

Representatives from 18 businesses were on hand for the third annual Senior Employment Expo to talk to people looking for full-time or part-time work.

The companies ranged from those in health-related fields — Lawrence Memorial Hospital, the Douglas County Visiting Nurses Association and Trinity In-Home Care — to retailer Home Depot and financial adviser New York Life Insurance Co.

Ikenberry said that about 100 people attended last year’s fair and that businesses are generally looking to tap into a market that features experienced workers.

“The senior population is attractive to employers because of their strong work ethic and dependability,” she said.

Senior Services also offered workshops for job hunters. In addition to résumé and interview tips, they offered advice on social networking and online applications — pieces of the job search puzzle that some seniors aren’t as familiar with, Ikenberry said.

Lawrence resident Marleeta Dowdell, 57, who recently retired from Hallmark Cards, said a couple of opportunities caught her interest Tuesday morning.

“I was hoping to see what openings are available after the first of the year,” Dowdell said.

Michael McManness, 55, of rural Lawrence, was looking to rejoin the work force after serving as a caregiver for his mother, who recently died.

Because networking can play a major role in catching the attention of employers, he said, he was pleased that employers set up booths at the center.

“I think it’s great,” McManness said.

Comments

flux 5 years, 2 months ago

I thought Santa Clause already had a job. If the guy in the back would just hook everyone else up with a gig in the toy shop, all would be good.

average 5 years, 2 months ago

And any small business owner knows exactly what will happen to his health insurance rates next year if he hires a few late-50s workers. If his insurance plan doesn't drop him entirely for it.

Joel Hood 5 years, 2 months ago

flux & toe - you are both wrong. It's Winter Warlock after his icy heart warmed up.

egress 5 years, 2 months ago

He's my step-dad :) Kids ask him all the time if he's Santa Claus!

Average, you're spot on.

beawolf 5 years, 2 months ago

average (Anonymous) says…

"And any small business owner knows exactly what will happen to his health insurance rates next year if he hires a few late-50s workers. If his insurance plan doesn't drop him entirely for it"

There's an idiot in every crowd.

Perhaps you could the post the spreadsheet where you calculated the difference in health related claims for those in their late 50's vs those in their late 40's or even late 30's. Then post the statistics that show how many of those may have their own health insurance from previous employment or how many have spouses with coverage. Then add in the difference in payroll savings by hiring seniors part time vs full time. And of course the experience factor should be included as well.

Change your name to "below average" it's more appropriate.

LadyJ 5 years, 2 months ago

Hire those over 65 that are already on medicare.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 2 months ago

It wasn't until I hit 55 myself that I realized, "Hey, ageism really DOES exist."

jonas_opines 5 years, 2 months ago

Oh no, that poor lady is getting pulled into that chart!!

Violet 5 years, 2 months ago

swan_diver (Anonymous) says…

"Yes. America's 'employers' are always trying to find a new way to string a warm body to an iron post in the cotton field. A 'job fair' indeed."

Huh??

remember_username 5 years, 2 months ago

"Jeannine Wyatt, a recruiter with Express Employment Professionals" - Yep that's quite an expression!

Kat Christian 5 years, 2 months ago

Oh yes Boris ageism is here and very STRONG here in Lawrence. Before I moved here 10 yrs ago I always worked a P/T job. I came here to live but gave up trying to work an extra job because they would not hire me. Restaurant and job alike are saved for the college students here. Notice you rarely, if ever see someone over 30 (maybe younger) working these type of jobs here in Lawrence. Getting a full-time job took me over a year to find. Most interviewers were younger than I and the looks I'd get determined to me that I didn't get the job. So if you are over 40 and a little over weight - the pickings are even more slimmer. We live in a prejudice society and I'm not talking racism. It is ageism. Those self-centered college age brats you mentioned most have little or no respect to the elder generation. They have no time for us nor do they care what happens to us. They just want us pushed off the earth and out of their little selfish way. The thing is they'd have no direction in life if it weren't for us older folks to lead the way for them. I'm almost 60 and I'd love to retire in 2 yrs. That will never happen now. I'll probably drop-dead at work. Retirement should be at 60-62 and be optional not 67 and Gov't is trying to push that to 70. We change in this town.

Kat Christian 5 years, 2 months ago

We need change for the older population.

Danimal 5 years, 2 months ago

I think that we should make everyone get these little devices on their hands that glow green. On a predetermined birthday it will turn red and you have to report to a local government building for "reassignment."

rbwaa 5 years, 2 months ago

average (Anonymous) says…

And any small business owner knows exactly what will happen to his health insurance rates next year if he hires a few late-50s workers. If his insurance plan doesn't drop him entirely for it.

================ sounds like a vote for national health insurance...

ckrandle53 5 years, 2 months ago

That was a great statement rbwaa! My son is one of the few in the "younger generation" who does respect everyone, including the aged citizens of this town. He was told early on that no one owes him anything. He must make his own way, so whatever he wants, he has to work for himself. I am one of many older citizens in Lawrence who has been looking for a job for over 2 years now. And it gets very discouraging. I don't blame anyone, but could sure use just one break. I have over 35 years of office experience, but all of the skills that I have learned from past employment means nothing. Unfortunately, experience is not what most employers want. They are still looking for younger, more attractive employees. It's hard to make it with the economy the way it is today. But, there is no sense in whining or complaining. I just keep looking and maybe one day I will catch that lucky break. Anyone want a grandma to do any kind of office work? LOL!

RogueThrill 5 years, 2 months ago

We have two wal-marts and 4 dillons. Surely they have enough spots open for these people to be greaters.

The better question is why do our seniors need to work?

Kat Christian 5 years, 2 months ago

You mean Greeter? Yes, that is a good question why do our seniors need to work? It doesn't matter if there are 12 Walmarts and 14 Dillons in this town, because if you aren't between the age of 21 and 30 fat chance you will get hired unless they are desperate for employees. There are just too many younger folks in this town that make up that employee pool. Employers aren't looking for experience or even work ethics (that you can tell when you go to these places and ask a questions and get an incorrect answer, a shrug they don't know or a stare). Employers are for themselves looking for cheap labor and if that person doesn't work out there is always another youngster to takes its place. Also most of the Employers who have people to do these interviews are young folks who feel intimidated supervising an older person, also they can intimidate them that easily so that is a big strike against us older folks. Untill the Gov't steps in to force a law that employers have to hire the older generation, we are out of luck finding gainful employment.

ckrandle53 5 years, 2 months ago

Hey Journal World, why don't you create a catagory in your employment add for jobs for older adults? Employers in this town that are willing to hire someone over 50 could post their openings there. Then, only employment seekers over 50 could answer those ads with the REAL possibility of gaining employment. I would like to know how many companies in this town would really be interested in doing that. Could be a real eye opener!

Chrissy Neibarger 5 years, 2 months ago

jonas_opines (Anonymous) says… Oh no, that poor lady is getting pulled into that chart!!

Jonas.. you just made me spit out my coffee!! Hilarious!

Socratic 5 years, 2 months ago

Nice story.

Elderly folk ought to be able to contribute to our society and workforce.

Kind of sad if they have to though after they have worked hard all their lives.

wordgenie8 5 years, 2 months ago

It's illegal for a company to solicit a candidate's age among other things, but many folks in Lawrence seem too dumb to know or follow the law.Ideally one does not announce her age and is not pigeonholed by that .

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