First employment series for older adults announced
Nov 4, 2019
The City of Boston is connecting people 55 and older to employers and opportunities at its first employment series for older workers.
By the City of Boston's Age Strong Commission
Hundreds of job seekers from across Boston registered for the City’s first “Age Strong @ Work” employment series this fall, culminating in a job fair today at the Dewitt Center in Roxbury. City departments and community partners came together to provide three dynamic sessions geared towards equipping older adults with employment trends, skill-building workshops, and job opportunities with Boston employers.
“Older adults have been a huge part of Boston’s growth, and they are some of the most experienced, reliable, and dedicated workers,“ said Mayor Walsh. “As a city, we are proud to support people 55+ as they search for new jobs and career paths. We hope that through the Age Strong @ Work series we are not only able to help those on a path to employment but also showcase the value of older workers to employers across the region.”
The series was developed in collaboration between the Age Strong Commission, the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, Mayor’s Office of Diversity, Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development, and the Disabilities Commission. The City of Boston also brought in a number of community partners, including funding partner AARP Massachusetts, Operation ABLE, Jobcase, and others to provide meaningful information and expertise about Boston’s job market to older participants.
Rob Quinn, 60, of the South End, participated in the Age Strong @ Work series. “I am grateful for the opportunity afforded me to not only attend, but more importantly share my employment experiences – struggles and successes,” said Quinn. “Being valued for my lived experience is what gives me a pulse and continued meaning and purpose in the city of Boston.”
The employment series for older workers was created in response to Age-Friendly listening sessions in every neighborhood of Boston. Residents expressed concerns about employment and job development skills. Only 18% of respondents thought there were sufficient job opportunities for older workers. This feedback reflects national trends. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that by 2026, 42 million people aged 55 and older will join the US labor force. Boston committed to focusing on employment and income security in their Age-Friendly Action Plan. The Age Strong @ Work series is designed to develop confidence and connect attendees with various opportunities across the city. Participants received free professional headshot photos, one-on-one help with their resumes, assistance with online job applications, and connections to top age-friendly employers like Boston Medical Center and the U.S. Post Office.
This series is also part of the Economic Development Center’s “Jobs, Talent, and Career” series, which is designed to maximize Boston’s existing talent and remove barriers to job entry to ensure everyone can benefit from the City’s economic growth. Mayor Walsh first announced the Economic Development Center at this year’s State of the City address, and the Center is designed to engage with residents around job growth, business development, placemaking and community economic development at accessible locations in every neighborhood.
“I brought a group of women who I work with to the skills-building workshops and the sessions were so helpful,” said Terry Williams, Mobility Mentor from EMPath - Economic Mobility Pathways, an organization committed to empowering families with income insecurity. “Participants were really interested and seemed to get a lot out of the sessions.”
“Jobcase was honored to join Mayor Walsh and the City of Boston to empower older workers and to help local employers find amazing people to help their businesses succeed,”said Fred Goff, founder and CEO of Jobcase. “Employers shouldn’t just hire older workers despite their age; they should run to hire older workers because of their age. Older workers bring high levels of learning skills, cognition, and experience that help them problem solve in creative ways. They are a huge competitive advantage for any company– and older workers often have these skills in abundance.”