Tired of Your Physically Demanding Job? How Tired of Your Physically Demanding Job? How Seniors Find New CareersSeniors Find New Careers

As more seniors work past retirement age or return to the workforce after retiring, there’s a growing demand for job retraining and placement resources specifically for older workers. These programs help people make the change from physically demanding jobs like maintenance and landscaping to new careers that don’t require heavy lifting, climbing, or hours of walking each day.

As the New York Times article linked above points out, some blue-collar workers move into desk jobs or teaching positions in their field. For example, a career welder might train new workers in a community college program, or a CNA who can no longer lift patients might move to the reception desk. If there aren’t teaching or office jobs open in your line of work–or if you’d rather do something completely different–there are many places to learn new skills and find job leads.

The Senior Community Service Employment Program

Low-income seniors can get paid job training and job-search help through SCSEP, a program funded by the US Department of Labor and run by local groups around the country. Qualified seniors can learn on the job at schools, daycare centers, medical centers, and other community-focused workplaces. To find an SCSEP program near you, visit ServiceLocator.org’s SCSEP page and enter your location. You can also contact your city or county’s Area Agency on Aging for local SCSEP information.

Senior centers and libraries

Many public libraries and senior centers have resources for job-seekers. For example, the Business and Career Library run by the Brooklyn Public Library has training and placement resources for older workers. Check with your local library and senior center to see what they offer.

Nonprofit groups and workforce agencies

Groups like Austin’s Skillpoint Alliance (where I used to teach) and Workforce Solutions Capital Area offer low- or no-cost computer training for adults who want to ramp up their skills quickly to find a new job. If you’re not sure whom to contact in your area, start by searching online for your “local workforce office.”

Community colleges

If you don’t qualify for government-funded programs like SCSEP, you may be able to find reasonably priced classes and job-training programs at your local community college. For instance, Westchester Community College in New York provides career-change classes, many of which focus on health information technology, medical administrative assistant, and other healthcare careers.

The National Older Worker Career Center

Seniors interested in government jobs can check out the options offered by the National Older Worker Career Center. This nonprofit group places 55-and up workers in jobs around the country with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. Although the NOWCC doesn’t provide career training, it offers job opportunities to older workers with all types of skill sets. For example, among its listings at this writings are jobs that draw on experience in storage tank installation and maintenance, emergency response equipment maintenance, and farming.

Read more about seniors working after retirement on the SeniorAdvisor.com blog.

Casey Kelly-Barton is an Austin-based freelance writer whose childhood was made awesome by her grandmothers, great-grandmother, great-aunts and -uncles, and their friends.

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