First employment series for older adults announced
November 4, 2019
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.”
About the Age Strong Commission
The Age Strong Commission works towards making Boston a city that fully embraces aging. Our mission is to enhance the lives of people 55+ with meaningful programs, resources, and connections so we can live and age strong together in Boston. For more than 50 years, we have served constituents as a City department, Council on Aging, and Area Agency on Aging. In 2017, the Commission launched its Age-Friendly Action Plan, which is the City's blueprint to make Boston the best city to live and age in.About AARP Massachusetts
AARP Massachusetts supports residents aged 50 and older with state legislation & advocacy on caregiving, health care, financial security, work, retirement & more. AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability, and personal fulfillment.About Jobcase
The Jobcase mission is to empower the world’s workers. Jobcase.com is the free open-access social media platform where over 100 million registered members manage all aspects of their work-lives. Jobcase technology also powers over 100 job sites and many non-profit driven activities via its Jobcase network. Jobcase has emerged as one of the fastest-growing technology companies in Boston and is an industry-affiliated partner of MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, CSAIL. Jobcase also provides pro-bono services for non-profit organizations who share in their mission of empowerment, such as the Chicago Urban League.