Older People Can Be Employed or Self-Employed, State Agencies Helping That Possibility


People who are past their youth often face struggles with looking for a job or building a career. Still, it's not too late for these people to find an opportunity to shine. In fact, there are opportunities waiting for them, either through self-employment or a full-time job.

State agencies in Pennsylvania and New Jersey are making efforts to help older people find jobs and build careers, reports Philly.

In Philadelphia, for example, economic development agency Women's Opportunities Resource Center, or WORC, launched a new program named "Yourself@50" to help low- and moderate-income men and women find the resources they need to start their own business.

"Self-employment is a great opportunity for 50-plus [people] who have retired, lost their job, or who want to scale back their work," Lynne Cutler, WORC president, said.

This new initiative caught the attention of the AARP Foundation, which awarded it with money to help more people become self-employed.

"For many low-income older adults, self-employment and business ownership is an opportunity to change their future," AARP Foundation President Lisa Marsh Ryerson told the Saline River Chronicle after the Foundation awarded a grant to the South Arkansas Community College, which conducts "Work for Yourself@50" workshops in El Dorado.

Such workshops help low-income adults aged 50 and older to "understand the pros and cons of self-employment" and help them through the early steps they need to face in order to succeed.

Pennsylvania CareerLink, on the other hand, aims to help older people look for jobs.

Judy Cherry, coordinator for CareerLink's 55+Plus program, said that about a decade ago, people in their 50s and 60s would come asking for help. "Now, they're in their 70s, and I even had a woman come in last week who was 80," she said.

Meanwhile, New Jersey's Department of Labor runs the Workforce 55+ program, which provides subsidized training for low-income people aged 55 and older. The program offers guidance designed to help seniors find and maintain careers. Job-seekers can access their website at

Older people need not think that career-building and jobs are only for fresh graduates and younger people. With these resources and more, they can also find a niche that will help them earn even in their golden years.

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