As you get older, you might find that it’s tougher to find new jobs and get different work experiences. In 2015, AARP did a study that found most people 55 and over have a harder time finding a new job, tend to get paid less than in previous jobs, and often get fewer hours than their younger co-workers. It might feel like an uphill and frustrating battle if you are trying to find a workplace that meets your needs and allows you to excel. Luckily, Chicago has plenty of resources and support to help you find your next job and give the benefit of your experience and wisdom to your new employer.
There are so many resources available to workers 50 years and older, especially here in the city of Chicago. The City’s Department of Aging has over 20 senior community centers that can provide you with computer access and training to help you keep up with any technological advances in the workplace.
The city also has programs for people who are actively seeking jobs with services for unemployed job seekers and those with disabilities. Chicago also has regular job fairs throughout the city that will put you in contact with employers who are actively seeking new hires.
You can also take advantage of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) that helps provide on-the-job training as well as job search services for adults and laid-off workers.
If you find yourself without a job and not enough money to invest in some of the training and technology that is needed to get back into the workforce, you can look into a few options. The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) is a federally funded program that allows unemployed low-income seniors the chance to get job training while also earning a paycheck.
In order to take advantage of SCSEP, you need to meet a few requirements, like age and income criteria. After that, you will be placed in a community service based on your job goals that will allow you to gain valuable skills that will help you transition into an unsubsidized job when you’re ready. This program is not only great for unemployed seniors, but the community as well as because you will be providing vital work to your neighborhood.
Veterans can take advantage of the Chicago Automated Recruiting Evaluation Employment Reporting System (CAREERS). This service is an online job application site that allows your resume to be matched with the best jobs for your skillset.
You can also look into networks like Chicago Job Talk and National Able Network. Both of these groups have dedicated services to seniors that are looking to find new jobs. The National Able Network can connect you to your local SCSEP group as well as get you access to a loaner laptop if you don’t have your own computer.
Maybe you’re ready to be your own boss after all your experience in the workforce. The City Treasurer of Chicago has a great website that offers resources for those interested in starting their own small business.
With all of these resources and opportunities available, it should be easier than you thought to try and find your next job even in your later years.
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