Why Hiring Older Workers Makes Sense

Goodwill® Celebrates National Employ Older Workers Week
September 24-28

ROCKVILLE, MD — Older workers are a growing part of the 21st century labor force, and they bring a wealth of knowledge, experience and maturity to the workplace. To celebrate their contributions and achievements, Goodwill Industries International and its network of independent, community-based organizations are observing National Employ Older Workers Week from September 24-28, 2018.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that workers 55 and older will make up 24 percent of the labor force in 2020, up from 13 percent in 2000. Many of those older workers will require additional training to remain competitive in today’s job market.

Goodwill’s flagship effort in support of older workers is the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). Through a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, seventeen Goodwill organizations in nine states provide paid, on-the-job training for older workers who have low incomes or are unemployed.

To mark National Employ Older Workers Week, Goodwill has released this new video featuring the stories of its SCSEP trainees and graduates.

“SCSEP participants train in local agencies and nonprofits like food banks, libraries, schools and senior centers. They serve in their own communities,” said Kristin Pratt, senior director of mission advancement at Goodwill Industries International. “Public and nonprofit agencies are often stretched thin, and SCSEP allows them to supplement their workforce and expand services while helping older job seekers develop valuable skills.”

Since 2006, Goodwill’s SCSEP effort has helped more than 29,000 older workers in local communities across the country. For this program year, the goal is to provide training and employment services for approximately 3,400 people, helping them learn new skills to meet the demands of the 21st century job market, build financial security and save for retirement.

Luther is a 64-year-old retiree who worked in the aerospace industry for 30 years. SCSEP trained him for a new career in hospitality, and helped him prepare for job interviews. “I needed to learn how to update my résumé,” he said.  “My résumé was so old. It’s just not the format they use today. And how to dress for your interview. They taught us that.”

Beyond training and skills, SCSEP can give older workers a new outlook and sense of purpose. “Being home by yourself, you get depressed and lonely. People don’t want to hire you because of your age,” said Donna, a 62-year-old food service trainee. “Knowing that you’re doing your job makes you feel good inside. My life is back. I’m alive and thriving with ambition.”

For the 2018 program year, the U.S. Department of Labor is providing 90 percent of the funding for Goodwill’s SCSEP programs through a $20,971,372 million grant. Goodwill is providing the remaining 10 percent of funding through in-kind contributions worth $2,330,152.

The following 17 community-based Goodwill organizations administer SCSEP programs:

  • Evansville Goodwill Industries, Inc. (IN) – also serving parts of IL and KY
  • Goodwill Industries of Akron (OH)
  • Goodwill Industries of Central and Southern Indiana (Indianapolis)
  • Goodwill Industries of Kentucky, Inc. (Louisville)
  • Goodwill Industries of Michiana, Inc. (South Bend, IN)
  • Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA (Macon) –serving parts of SC
  • Goodwill Industries of New Mexico (Albuquerque)
  • Goodwill Industries of Northwest Ohio (Toledo)
  • Goodwill Industries of Tenneva Area (Kingsport, TN) –serving parts of VA
  • Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands South Carolina (Greenville)
  • Goodwill Industries of the Valleys (Roanoke, VA)
  • Goodwill of Erie, Huron, Ottawa and Sandusky Counties (Sandusky, OH)
  • Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainer Region (Tacoma, WA)
  • Marion Goodwill (OH)
  • MERS Missouri Goodwill Industries (St. Louis) – also serving parts of IL
  • Palmetto Goodwill (North Charleston, SC)
  • Zanesville Welfare Organization and Goodwill Industries, Inc. (OH)

Goodwill Industries International (GII) is a network of 161 community-based, autonomous organizations in the United States and Canada with a presence in 13 other countries. GII is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that is recognized by GuideStar with its Platinum Seal of Approval, the organization’s highest rating for charities. For the past three years, Goodwill was ranked in the top five brands that inspired consumers the most with its mission in the World Value Index commissioned by the creative agency, enso. Goodwill has been on the Forbes‘ list of top 20 most inspiring companies for three consecutive years.

Local Goodwill organizations are innovative and sustainable social enterprises that offer job placement and training services, and other community-based programs by selling donated clothing and household items in more than 3,300 stores collectively and online at http://shopgoodwill.com®.

Goodwill helps people facing challenges to finding employment including, people with disabilities; veterans and military families; youth and young adults, including youth who are at risk and opportunity youth; older workers; people reintegrating into society; and others facing challenges to finding employment. Local Goodwill organizations build revenues and expand employment opportunities by contracting with commercial, state, government and non-government organizations to provide a wide range of business services, including janitorial, staffing services, food service preparation, manufacturing and contracts packing, reverse logistics, document imaging and shredding, and laundry services.

Last year, local Goodwill organizations collectively placed more than 288,000 people in employment in the United States and Canada. In addition, more than 38 million people used computers and mobile devices to access Goodwill education, training, mentoring and online learning services to strengthen their skills, and more than two million people received in-person services.

For more information or to find a Goodwill location near you, visit goodwill.org or call (800) GOODWILL. Follow us on Twitter: @GoodwillIntl and @GoodwillCapHill, and find us on Facebook and Instagram: GoodwillIntl.

SCSEP is a 52 -year-old federally funded program authorized by Title V of the Older Americans Act that is dedicated to preparing older workers for the modern labor market. It is the only federally funded workforce development program explicitly designed to assist older workers. Participants must be unemployed, 55 years of age or older, and have incomes no more than 125 percent of the federal poverty level and have a training need. SCSEP is currently operated by 19 national grantees and 56 units of state and territorial governments.

For more information on SCSEP opportunities, visit America’s Service Locator or call the Toll-Free Help Line at 1-877-US2-JOBS (1-877-872-5627).

Malini Wilkes
PR and Multimedia Manager
Goodwill Industries International
Phone: (240) 333-5523
[email protected]