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Older workers to get help with Rose State program

BY DEBBIE BLOSSOM Published: May 24, 2009
Rose State College soon may be a new and improved outlet for Oklahomans who are 50 and older wanting to switch careers or learn how to be more marketable.

The Midwest City community college is now part of a national initiative from the American Association of Community Colleges to develop programs to train or retrain older workers, the school announced last week.

Rose State received $10,000 to begin creating training programs and educational classes for older workers.

The Plus 50 Initiative project will be sponsored by the AACC and will be funded with a $3.2 million grant from The Atlantic Philanthropies.

"This really is an exciting grant,” said Stan Griel, vice president of corporate and continuing education at Rose Sate. "It gives us the opportunity to access the needs of the 50-plus population in our service area and to see what programs are needed.”

The Plus 50 program was started to improve course offerings for baby boomers in 2008 with 15 community colleges that were focusing on learning, training and career development and volunteering.

Baby boomers may struggle

Changing economic circumstances will have many older workers on the job for years longer than planned, said Norma Kent, spokeswoman for the American Association of Community Colleges. And baby boomers may face the steepest odds of any unemployed workers in the job market, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2008, laid off workers over age 50 were out of work for 22.2 weeks, compared with 16.2 weeks for younger workers. When they land jobs, baby boomers typically experience a more significant drop in earnings than their younger counterparts, the bureau said.


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