The encore career idea is taking root at the local level as more and more leaders and organizations create new ways to tap encore talent to solve social problems. For some communities, The Next Chapter® initiative, sponsored by Encore.org (then known as Civic Ventures), imparted the idea and inspiration to take local action. In others, social entrepreneurs and civic leaders joined forces to design and launch innovative new approaches. Together they offer other interested communities practical ideas for developing encore career programs and pathways.
EXAMPLES OF LOCAL INNOVATIONS
Encore connectors: Recruitment, matching, information and referral, job listings and other services to connect encore seekers with encore careers
Example: In New York City, ReServe connects retired professionals with paid service opportunities that draw on their lifetime of skills for the public good.
Community-wide umbrellas: Comprehensive “go to” places – virtual or physical – for a wide array or encore-related resources and services
Example: In Phoenix, Arizona, Experience Matters, a county-wide consortium of business professionals, community leaders and organizations, work together to connect adults age 50+ to social purpose opportunities.
Transition support: Career counseling, coaching, mentoring, workshops and classes to support the encore career transition
Example: In New York and other U.S. cities, The Transition Network is a community of women over 50 who join forces as they navigate the transition from one career to another.
Experiential pathways: Hands-on work experience through internships, on-the-job training, fellowships or intensive skills-based volunteering
Example: The Encore Fellows program transitions former corporate employees to encore careers through one-year half-time fellowships.
Educational pathways: Training, education, workshops, courses, online learning, credentialing and other encore career preparation through community organizations, nonprofits, higher education and public agencies
Example: In Kansas City, Kansas, Next Chapter Kansas City and Kansas City Kansas Community College joined together to offer four online courses on exploring jobs in the green sector, caregiving, community engagement and education.
Education and experience combined: Certification or diploma programs combined with a practicum, internship or work experience that enhances the learning
Example: In California, EnCorps Teachers helps math and science professionals make the transition into much-needed teaching positions in low-income public middle and high schools throughout the state.
Physical hubs: Places to connect with resources, individuals and encore opportunities
Example: In Tempe, Ariz., Tempe Connections provides a welcoming public library space where adults discover purpose through learning programs, supportive life planning, encore work opportunities and community participation.
Peer networks: Opportunities for encore seekers to share their experiences, learn from one another and access potential encore career opportunities
Example: In Minnesota, the Vital Aging Network is a volunteer-led leadership organization that connects individuals and organizations to advance vital lives for people age 50+.
Nonprofit capacity building: Training, leadership development and technical assistance to help nonprofits effectively engage older adults
Example: In Philadelphia, Coming of Age offers a number of programs to strengthen communities, including workshops and training to help nonprofit organizations build social impact by engaging older adults. It’s also placing Encore Volunteer Managers in Philadelphia-area nonprofits.
Nonprofit employment: Collaboration with workforce investment boards, labor departments, one-stop career centers, and nonprofit employers to reduce unemployment.
Example: In Connecticut, Encore!Hartford assists unemployed seasoned corporate professionals to transition their experience to encore careers in the nonprofit sector.
GETTING STARTED IN YOUR OWN COMMUNITY
In addition to these organizations, local encore employers are creating new ways to work through part-time and part-year jobs that attract older adults who seek meaningful, flexible, compensated work, while encore colleges are engaging older adults in new ways with innovative messages, strategies, programs and schedules.