State Recognizes Value of Older Workers

Contact: Shirley Bentsen (517) 373-8230

bentsens@michigan.gov

For Immediate Release:  September 16, 2011

LANSING - The Michigan Office of Services to the Aging (OSA) calls upon Michigan employers to observe National Employ Older Workers Week from Sept. 18-24. This is a time to recognize older workers as an important part of the state's talent pool, as well as the benefits employers reap from their skills, work ethic, and maturity.

 "Progressive companies understand the value that older workers bring to their operations," said Kari Sederberg, OSA Director. "Older workers are known for being loyal to their employers, have experience that usually translates to wisdom, use good judgment, and are committed to quality - all highly compelling reasons to employ them."

Last year there were 160,000 adults age 65 and older employed in Michigan's workforce. It's estimated that by 2014, people 55 and older will make up 21 percent of the workforce nationally- up from 13 percent in 2000.

Demographic trends are also playing an important role in the older worker trend. Baby Boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, will not be following the typical retirement pattern set up by their parents, according to Gallop poll surveys. The majority of Baby Boomers say they plan to delay retirement and even work into their 70s, in part because they like to work and want to contribute, and because many need to work in order to maintain their standard of living. As well, in today's uncertain economic climate, many of those already retired find themselves looking for part-time work to supplement their pensions.

People 55 and older can contact OSA for information about the Senior Community Service Employment Program at (517) 373-8230 or visit www.michigan.gov/miseniors. This federally-funded program provides those eligible with on-the-job skills training for placement in unsubsidized employment.

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The Office of Services to the Aging is an agency of the State of Michigan whose mission is to provide leadership, innovation, advocacy, and policy on behalf of Michigan's older adults and their caregivers. For more information contact the Office of Services to the Aging at (517) 373-8230 or visit www.michigan.gov/miseniors.