Event Connects Older Workers with Jobs

Still0812_00000EUGENE, Ore. — The latest Oregon unemployment numbers are out, and they remain unchanged this month at 6.9 percent.

And Tuesday, some older members of the workforce got some advice on how to get a job in this tough economy.

Hundreds of people over the age of 50 learned how to improve their skillset in order to get a job. AARP, along with local and national nonprofits, gave some advice to those who are a bit older but still eager to get hired.

For Diane Caskey, the search for a job hasn’t been easy.

“Very hard. I retired and I looked for a position for approximately four years, and I honestly have to say that it was felt that because I’m older there were not a lot of jobs out there for me,” said Caskey.

And she’s not alone. AARP says about 50,000 people in Lane County are over the age of 50.

“Lane County has been a little slower in economic recovery than other parts of the state so the other part of that is people over 50 once you’re out of work have a harder time getting back into the job market,” said Joyce DeMonnin, spokesperson AARP Oregon.

So on Tuesday, hundreds of people gathered at a local church to get advice on how to get a job, even if you’re a little bit older.

“There are opportunities. There are partners. There are people, and they really have value. So helping them understand their value and connecting them with resources is an amazing opportunity,” said Sarah Biggers, CEO Experience Works.

One way some like Caskey are getting back into the work force, securing positions with Experience Works, a national nonprofit that gets people back to work, paying them for volunteer positions so they can get some experience.

“I’ve been there approximately four months and the good thing is they train you, they train you for everything and any position you take at work experience there is training involved so you don’t have to be afraid,” Caskey.

They hope that experience will eventually help land them permanent work.

AARP says a major goal of this conference is helping people understand how they can use their age as an advantage, not as a disadvantage.

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