Articles & Reports
Pathways to Encore CareersBy MetLife Foundation/Civic Ventures
How 10 Community Colleges Are Preparing Boomers for Work in Education, Health Care and Social Services
This new report profiles 10 community colleges that are attracting experienced workers, engaging local employers and helping prepare boomers for meaningful work in education, health care and social services. The programs in the report are offered in urban, suburban and rural colleges in Arizona, California, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas and Virginia. They include career transition courses, curriculum development, community partnerships, supportive student services and job placement. Civic Ventures launched the Community College Encore Career Grants Program with support from the MetLife Foundation.
Tens of millions of baby boomers are beginning to move into a new phase of life and work. This generational shift creates an historic opportunity for community colleges to become "encore colleges," helping boomers manage transitions to their encore careers at the same time they meet the pressing workforce needs of their communities. This paper provides an overview of coming changes and highlights the most farsighted colleges—the ones already starting to meet this new demand with innovative encore college programs and partnerships.
This federal program matches untapped resources, experienced military veterans, with unmet needs – committed teachers and role models in challenged schools and underserved communities. Troops to Teachers helps those with at least ten years of military service transition to careers in public school teaching and administration. Since 1994, the program has trained and placed 9500 veterans in the classrooms where they are needed most.
As millions of baby boomers begin to retire, our federal government, the nation's largest employer, will be especially hard hit. One solution to the brain drain is to look toward other retiring boomers – from the military and the public and nonprofit sectors – to fill those positions at not only the federal level, but the state and local level as well. Over time, government has grown isolated from external talent pools, with very from the private and nonprofit sectors moving into the highest levels of civil service. Flipping the equation would be a win-win for older Americans, who would find meaningful opportunities to use their talents and experience, and for the federal government, which would gain highly skilled talent to help solve our nation's most pressing problems.
In the early 1990s a grassroots youth service movement called the Commission on National and Community Service emerged and began to attract attention. The original proposals for this commission, as presented to the President and Congress, included provisions for older adult service, but they were later dropped. This unfinished business calls to be revisited, as millions of public-minded older Americans stand at the brink of retirement, ready to engage in tackling our nation’s most difficult social challenges.
The first of 77 million baby boomers turn 60 in 2006, and the fifty- and forty-somethings are right behind. Organizations of all kinds have an historic opportunity to tap this newly abundant resource.
Current statistics on the boomer generation with links to original sources. Everything you ever wanted to know, from what percentage have bachelor's degrees to annual spending habits.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 29, 2005
This article examines the challenges faced by older adults interested in finding meaningful roles in retirement and includes profiles of successful third-agers. Steve Weiner founded a campaign to increase support for higher education in California after a career as a college professor and administrator; Dr. Dorothea Glass joined a free clinic in Florida after retiring as a professor of medicine in Philadelphia.
The Washington Post, February 6, 2005
In this op-ed piece, Marc Freedman traces the evolution of the concept of retirement and argues that it is time to invent a new vision – one that includes continued engagement and contribution.
Increasing longevity, the aging of the baby boomer generation, and falling fertility rates are having a great impact on all of the developed countries in the world. A conference in London in November brought together participants from Europe, Japan, and the U.S. to discuss these challenges and explore how their countries are responding to them.
Leadership Abstracts, November 2004, Volume 17, Number 11
The relative health, wealth, and skill of the baby boomers mean nothing less than the emergence of a new stage of life beyond middle age. And community colleges are better suited than perhaps any other American institution to respond to this new stage of life for Americans.
USA Today, October 7, 2004
When Paul McCartney wrote the song "When I'm Sixty Four" in the late 1950s, 64 must have seemed ancient. But times have changed since then.
Stanford Social Innovation Review, Fall 2004
Retiring baby boomers are interested in retooling their professional skills to help society. How can society help them do so?
Aging Today, July-August 2004
A growing body of research is documenting the benefits of volunteering for the volunteers.
Recent improvements in the health and longevity of Americans is resulting in a burgeoning population of individuals over 65: By the year 2050, between a fifth and a quarter of the American population will fall into this age group. At the same time, countless societal needs are going unmet. It is imperative, Freedman argues, to create for our aging society meaningful opportunities to engage and actively participate in civic life.
The Kindness of Strangers tells the story of a group of concerned adults who mentor inner-city youth. It describes what volunteers can do to ameliorate the conditions of young people living in poverty, and chronicles the rise of the mentoring movement, examining its wider implications for education and social policy.
Freedman proposes three significant changes for the appropriations of national service funds. These changes, he argues, will support the shifting demographics of American society and enhance service opportunities for older adults.
Kerry Tremain, Civic Ventures Research Fellow, chronicles a movement of architects and planners who advocate returning to the traditional neighborhood as a way of promoting intergenerational community life.
This report describes after-school programs that involve older volunteers, including Experience Corps projects in Boston, Washington, DC, Kansas City, and San Francisco.
Challenging questions, a critical answer
The longevity revolution raises important questions concerning not only national economics, but national values as well. Civic Ventures answers by helping America achieve a national return on experience.
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