COA grant funds senior job training workshops

By Stacy Kess

February 13, 2014

A Central Ohio group focused on training seniors for jobs is holding training workshops throughout Delaware County thanks to a grant from the Council for Older Adults.

Employment For Seniors Inc., a Whitehall-based nonprofit agency that has focused on the employment of older adults for 42 years, began basic training sessions for job seekers over 60 at the Delaware County Library Orange Branch and is planning workshops at the Center for Older Adults and at other Delaware County library locations.

“Employment For Seniors can be part of your (job search) support system,” said Carol Ventresca, executive director. “We want to be part of your support system.”

The $9,526.48 COA grant was used to facilitate the free workshops for Delaware County residents. The next program begins March 19 with “Mature Job Seekers Workshop” from 9 a.m. to noon at the Orange Branch library and continues with the “Linked In Workshop” from 9 a.m. to noon March 20.

“What we’re going to try to cover – this is going to be a real adventure – is what do you need for your job search,” said Sharon Hamersley, a resume coach and workshop facilitator from Employment For Seniors.

Hamersley spoke to a small group of job seekers Thursday at a Job Search Basics workshop at the Orange Branch Library. She reviewed how to write a resume, interviewing and networking.

“There are challenges for the mature job-seeker,” Hamersley said.

Some of it is a caused by a senior re-entering the workforce and some if it caused by employer perceptions, Hamersley said. Employers are concerned about level of computer knowledge, but also how a mature job seeker wants to re-enter the workforce – at what level and at what pay. There is a silver lining, though.

“You have some very, very distinct advantages over young folks,” she told her class.

She said seniors have lower absenteeism rates, lower turnover in jobs and a strong work ethic.

“Employers like those kind of people because it costs money every time an employer has to train people,” Hamersley said.

The workshops are about teaching the process of job seeking.

“I hear all the time, ‘I’ll do anything,’” Hamersley said. “‘Anything’ is not a job search strategy.”

To register for the workshops, call Employment For Seniors at 614-863-1219 between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.