Hey, New Yorkers: Looking for an encore opportunity?

The Home Energy Retrofit Occupations (HERO) program is recruiting for a course on Energy Efficiency Opportunities for Realtors and Mortgage Professionals that will be held during March at Ohlone College in Fremont, Calif. Candidates must be professionals in real estate mortgage services or appraisal services and must fit one of the following categories:

  • Incumbent worker (employed but needs training to secure full-time employment, advance in career or retain current occupation)
  • Dislocated worker (laid off or self-employed but now unemployed and receiving no income)

Last week Barry Bluestone hosted an Open Classroom session at Northeastern University on "The Changing American Workforce" as part of a course he calls "Demography Is Destiny." This two-hour session focused on work patterns of older adults and encore careers. See the listing under February 9 for the readings on this Northeastern University link.

Economics Professor Joseph Quinn and I were the two guest speakers. There were about 100 in the audience, which was a mix of students, boomers and older adults.

Editor's Note: Stewart Brand, creator of The Whole Earth Catalog, co-founder of The Long Now Foundation and a 2006 Purpose Prize Fellow, recently sent out this thoughtful summary of a talk by Mary Catherine Bateson called "Live Longer, Think Longer." It was one in a series of Seminars About Long-term Thinking that he hosts through his foundation:

Social Venture Partners Portland (SVPP) is introducing a nationally recognized encore fellowships program in the Portland/Vancouver metro area this month with support from the Hewlett-Packard Company to help people at the end of midlife careers in business transition to new jobs in the nonprofit sector.

PORTLAND, Ore. – February 9, 2011 – Social Venture Partners Portland (SVPP) is introducing a nationally recognized encore fellowships program in the Portland/Vancouver metro area this month with support from the Hewlett-Packard Company to help people at the end of midlife careers in business transition to new jobs in the nonprofit sector.

If you’re tired of pushing papers at a desk, social work may be an appealing encore career. It offers the opportunity to get out and connect with people and make a difference in their lives.

Social work is demanding and not high paid, but, writes Lindsay Zoladz on, jobs are expected to increase in the field at least through 2016.

Does the idea of being a social sntrepreneur intrigue you or intimidate you?

Carol Greenfield, founder of Discovering What's Next, and Amy Avergun, Encore Summit facilitator, are inviting individuals interested in working on socially innovative projects to a Kick Off Event designed to ignite your interest.

It will include some brain-friendly exercises to get you thinking about real projects you could do in small groups. "These don't need to be big global projects; small projects are good, too," they say.

Do you need more training to transition into your encore career? AARP Foundation’s Women’s Scholarship Program is providing scholarship funds to women 40 and older who have limited financial resources and who are seeking new job skills, training and educational opportunities. Online only applications will be accepted from February 1 through March 31, 2011.

To be eligible for a scholarship, applicants must be:

  • At least 40 years old by March 31, 2011

From coast to coast, encore careers have arrived.

In an extraordinary front-page story, USA Today explores what it calls a national, “growing `encore careers’ movement.”

The movement, reporter Richard Wolf writes, “has spawned nonprofit groups and programs from Boston to Portland, Ore., aimed at helping older workers find new work.”

Voting starts today for the first-ever Launch Pad contest, which will award $5,000 to five individuals over age 45 who are solving community problems in creative ways. The winners also will receive resources and support from the community to help their projects succeed.

Bridgestar has published a fascinating article about a study sheds light on a question that has been debated for a long time in the nonprofit world: Are people who developed their leadership skills in the social sector more qualified to lead a nonprofit organization than their peers coming from the for-profit sector?

We asked if you had questions, and you most certainly did! We can’t answer all of them, so we picked the ones that were asked many times or the ones that raised the most universal issues. Barbara Chandler Allen, a 2010 Purpose Prize winner, who founded and runs a nonprofit called Fresh Artists, answers the first three questions. And I answered the last three.

Editor's Note: Courtney Martin is the author of Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists. She speaks to her generation in her writings and her blogs on, (“young feminists blogging, organizing, kicking ass”). And she speaks about her generation to older activists who are trying to figure out where all the political flowers have gone.

American Legion Auxiliary "Call to Service Corps" Consortium Announces AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps VISTA Service Opportunities

A consortium of military, veteran and civilian organizations led by the American Legion Auxiliary is offering 55 AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps VISTA national service assignments in 2011. blogger Kerry Hannon zeroes in on five job-searching strategies for older individuals seeking employment, courtesy of Maggie Mistal, career coach and Sirius XM radio host.

"Mistal has heard enough corporate castaway tales from her clientele and radio-call-ins to know that soul searching is the first step to making a successful career transition today, and a job search requires more," writes Hannon, a personal finance journalist who focuses on career transition and retirement issues.

Mistal's top tips are:

Are you 50+? Have you started thinking "what's next for me?" What do you see happening? And how will you get there?

For those seeking new opportunities for gratifying paid employment, join Discovering What's Next to explore the option of an encore career: work that provides personal meaning, continued income and social impact. Free admission.

We received more than 1,000 nominees for our Launch Pad contest, which reinforces our view that many experienced people out there see ways they can help solve community problems. They just need a little help getting started.

We’re asking you to help us pick the first finalist. With your vote you can:

Let the prognostication begin!

Predictably the New Year – in which the first of the baby boomers turn 65 – began with much of the usual hand-wringing over what the aging of the country’s largest demographic will mean for the economy, politics and culture.

Allan Barsema, a 2010 Purpose Prize winner, is one of 10 finalists for Beliefnet's "Most Inspiring Person of 2010" award. Two winners will be announced on January 31: a Reader's Choice and an Editor's Pick.

You can help Barsema win the Reader's Choice award by reading his story on Beliefnet and clicking on the Facebook "Like" button at the bottom of the page. Then forward the link to a friend.