Many people in the U.S. who are at least 50 years old are facing a new reality, that they will be in the workforce well beyond the traditional age of retirement.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the percentage of adults older than 55 in the workforce will grow from 13 percent in 2000 to 25 percent by 2020.
Terra State Community College is rolling out a program that will help baby boomers get the training and knowledge they need to succeed. The Plus 50 Encore Career Event at Terra State is from 5:30 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, July 31, in Building B, Room 101.
“Many plus-50 individuals aren’t sure where to begin when it comes to going back to school,” said Kathy Berger, coordinator of the program.
Reasons vary for seeking more education. Training might be needed for a promotion; a layoff may have forced retraining; a job may become too physical; or retirement might not be affordable.
“Whatever the reason, we will help pave the pathway to your new job,” Berger said. “We want you to know that community colleges are approachable and convenient. Terra State is an affordable option for training and skills that will lead to employment.”
There will be information about Terra State’s “quick start” programs in real estate, welding, medical scribe, professional home and family care and office administration.
Terra staff will explain how to return to school, including the admissions process, campus resources, and financial aid. Campus tours will also be available.
Andy Carroll, Dean of Engineering Technologies and Mathematics, will be on hand to explain the Welding Fast Track Certificate program that was designed to meet the demands of industry.
“I believe it’s ideal for any age of student, but especially prospective students over the age of 50 who have bills to pay and families to provide for,” he said.
"We are very excited to begin this collaboration with the Ohio Institute for Real Estate Studies," added Michael Shirtz, Dean of Business and Creative Arts.
There is no charge for this event. Friends and family are welcome to attend.
“And, of course, you can attend even if you are younger than 50,” Berger said. “This is good information for everyone who wants to improve their lives through education.”
Terra State is one of 36 new colleges recently selected for the project. Since 2008, AACC and its network of Plus 50 initiative colleges have worked with baby boomers and helped them prepare for new careers. An independent evaluation of AACC’s Plus 50 initiative found that 89 percent of students agreed that college workforce training helped them acquire new job skills, and 72 percent attributed landing a job to such training.
The Plus 50 Encore Completion Program supports AACC’s work to increase the number of students who finish degrees, certificates and other credentials.