Encore Hartford Commencement Keynote

This speech was delivered by Marci Alboher at the 2013 graduation ceremony for Encore! Hartford, a work-force development program that helps seasoned corporate professionals transition to managerial careers in the nonprofit sector.

Despite difficult economic times, volunteering has increased dramatically in the past few years. A recent study found that the number of Americans volunteering in their communities increased by 1.6 million in 2009 – the largest increase in six years. Stephen Anfield's volunteering gig at AARP eventually led to a part-time job there. His experience at AARP helped him land full-time work promoting encore careers at Civic Ventures.

It's National Employ Older Workers Week!

It’s National Employ Older Workers Week (Sept. 18-24), and I hope that I can count on you to help spread the word!

An annual event sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, National Employ Older Workers Week is a call to action for employers and employees alike to recognize the value and necessity of experienced workers in our nation’s workforce.

Hank Smith , Morgan Community College
Morgan Community College

Nearly 40 years ago, Hank Smith graduated from high school, joined the Navy and briefly attended nursing school, even taking on a health care job while in the service.

As much as he enjoyed the health field, Smith left the Navy and got an entry-level job at the U.S. Postal Service. He worked his way up from mail processing to retail associate to local Postmaster and, then, at 55, he retired – in part, to help care for his mother.

Every day, 8,000 Americans turn 60 and many can expect 100-year life spans. The length of retirement for centenarians could be more than 30 years. Not everyone finds the prospect of three decades of leisure time enviable, much less sensible. For Marc Freedman, author of The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife, it is also an egregious waste of the talent and experience accumulated by nearly 80 million boomers.

Millions of Americans are looking for work, and some 400,000 apply for unemployment benefits each week. Thousands more have exhausted all their jobless benefits. So when some companies posted open jobs, and stated the unemployed need not apply, a firestorm erupted. Now Congress is getting involved. Marci Alboher, vice president at Civic Ventures, weighs in on the issues.

We celebrate individuals from time to time for breaking new ground or delivering creative, efficient solutions to public problems. But rarely do we pay attention to where tomorrow's innovators will come from. At City Year and Civic Ventures, this "new pipeline" approach is built into the mission of our organizations. We share an expectation that we should be engaging people in solving, or building capacity to solve, their communities' problems.

Older workers, the argument goes, are “sucking the oxygen out of the atmosphere.” Any job found is one that a younger person will be denied; any social support received for this stage of life is one they won’t get for theirs – and will have to pay for later." Suzanne Braun Levine, author of Father Courage: What Happens When Men Put Family First and Civic Ventures board member, discusses work-family conflict.

Gearing up new skills and adding to your kit, while you’re gainfully employed, will prepare you for your transition. Hannon argues that individuals should set up for “Adulthood II,” as the famed anthropologist Mary Catherine Bateson refers to the newly emerging period of active engagement that falls roughly between 55 and 70, in her latest book, Composing a Further Life.

Community Colleges: A Great Option for Boomers Seeking Encores

Community colleges have been receiving a lot of attention lately – from the White House Summit on Community Colleges to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Completion by Design to the Lumina Foundation’s Adult Degree Completion Commitment – and are seen as major partn

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