New Initiative Delivers Job Search Skills to Workers Over Age 50

KCTCS offering online course for growing 50-plus workforce struggling in tough economic times

Gov. Beshear today announced “Work After 50 Week” in Kentucky by launching an ambitious new initiative to help those over age 50 harness technology and embark on career paths critical to Kentucky’s economy.

“Making age an asset in your job search” is a new, online course offered by the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS). The course was jointly developed and delivered by KCTCS, AARP and Education To Go, part of Cengage Learning.

“I’m proud to announce this new course and I’m hopeful it encourages retirees to re-enter the workforce and help those looking for work to reduce the time it takes to find a job,” Gov. Beshear said. “According to AARP, once unemployed, it takes workers over age 50 longer to find a job. We need this tool to help Kentuckians remain relevant and employed. KCTCS remains the state’s largest provider of postsecondary education and workforce training. Supporting 50-plus workers and keeping them in the workforce longer strengthens our economy and helps Kentucky’s employers.” With limited time to rebuild their retirement nest eggs, the ability to continue working is essential for older Americans. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2008 workers 45 years of age and older have seen a more than 55 percent increase in unemployment and those 55 and older have experienced a 65 percent increase.

“Kentucky’s 50-plus workers need to update their job and job-hunting skills, especially today when AARP research shows that 70 percent of them expect to continue working into the so-called retirement years,” said AARP’s Associate State Director Patrice Blanchard.

This course was jointly developed and delivered by KCTCS, AARP and Education To Go, part of Cengage Learning, to address a critical workforce need. The six-week, 12-lesson, online course teaches 50-plus workers how to tailor their resumes to each job application and to network in the digital age.

“Making age an asset in your job search” is one of KCTCS’s growing catalog of more than 300 instructor-facilitated online courses. It can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week from anywhere with an Internet connection. The well-crafted lessons, expert online instruction, and interaction with the instructor and fellow participants, offer needed flexibility for adults to study and learn at their own pace.

A key finding in 2007’s Kentucky Elder Readiness Initiative demonstrated the need to develop business and second career options for workers after age 50.

“KCTCS is committed to providing working adults with the technical skills they need to succeed in the workplace during these tough economic times,” said KCTCS President Dr. Michael B. McCall. “We are continually striving to develop new programs and services to assist Kentuckians in overcoming these difficulties.”

Registration and information on the course is available at: www.ed2go.com/workafter50

Some highlights of the course include:

  • Total cost is $42, less than half the cost of a regular course;
  • Special onsite, in-person orientations co-hosted by AARP and KCTCS are available one week prior to each session for those new to online learning;
  • Course offers access to AARP’s special resources and AARP Foundation’s unique WorkSearch tool;
  • New sessions of each course begin on the third Wednesday of every month;
  • A professional instructor facilitates every course, pacing learners, answering questions, giving feedback and facilitating discussions;
  • The noncredit course is Web-based with comprehensive lessons, quizzes and assignments; and
  • The course offers access to other KCTCS course offerings and training opportunities.