Published on 2013/06/14

Programs for Baby Boomer Job Seekers

Community colleges across the United States are looking for ways to help older adults earn credentials and upgrade skills to find jobs in the highly competitive labor market. To this end, many institutions are turning to the Plus 50 initiative, a partnership project sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).

The goal of the Plus 50 project is to encourage community colleges to develop and foster programs that engage adult students 50 years of age or older. The project achieves this by investing resources into participating colleges.

“Many adults age 50 and over want to train for new jobs that help others and are hiring, but they need to update their skills,” Mary Sue Vickers, director for the Plus 50 Initiative at AACC, stated in a press release. “Community colleges offer a supportive environment where baby boomers can train for new jobs quickly and affordably, while completing a marketable degree or certificate.”

In total, over 100 colleges have been selected to participate in the initiative since its launch in 2008.

In 2012 a report, conducted by the Learning For Action Group, found that 90 percent of Plus 50 students surveyed said that the workforce training courses developed by their community college helped them acquire and improve their skills.

“Training for a new career can be challenging, especially for those who are returning to the classroom after spending decades in the workforce,” Vickers stated in a press release. “It’s critical for colleges to have supports in place to help baby boomers acclimate to college successfully, so they can successfully complete training programs in these high-demand fields and get back to work.”

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