Program Matches Out-of-Work Seniors with Jobs

For many older people, finding work can be difficult — but there’s a program that aims to level the playing field.

Experience Works is a federal program that attempts to ease seniors back into the workforce…

Many of whom — for whatever reason — haven’t worked in some time.

Reporter Charlie Tinker took a closer look at this program and has more details.

“I was homeless for a couple of years. I was living at the Goodwill Inn… and part of the reason for that was an addiction problem,” shared Doug Burwell, one of the program’s success stories.

Doug Burwell found himself between a rock and a hard place.

After he managed to get clean–he struggled to find work.

That is, until he found ‘Experience Works’–a program that connects out-of-work seniors with job opportunities.

“It works with individuals who are 55 and older who need to find employment,” said Experience Works State Director Andrea Bridgewater. “The way we do that is place them with local non-profits.”

The work they do with these non-profits is paid, they attend training courses, send in applications–the eventual reward being a full-time job.

With the program’s help, Doug’s been sober for five years–and now, through a local non-profit, he’s helping others do the same.

“The project I have right now is developing a relapse prevention plan for addiction treatment services,” said Burwell.

Experience Works tells us seniors like Doug face a common problem: employers shun them because of their age and inexperience with modern technology.

While on a visit, Congressman Dan Benishek spoke of the program’s importance.

“When they’re applying outside of the non-profit arena, they have a job,” said Benishek. “They have an item for their resume that looks good and they can get back into the workforce.”

Even then, it’s not always about the money–for some, it’s about the fight to stay relevant… that was the case for Carole.

“Now I can’t imagine not going to work,” related Carole Lannin, another success story. “I don’t have to wonder what to do. It fills up the days.”

Whatever their reasons, for Doug, Carole and thousands of others across the country, it’s clear–‘Experience Works’…