Placement, training available to older job seekers

KINGMAN - Unemployed senior job seekers age 55-plus can qualify for job training and job placement services through the Title V federal program implemented through the Area Agency on Aging and the Senior Community Service Employment Program.

"We can place participants in paid part-time on-the-job training at local non-profit and government agencies based upon their age, Arizona residency, income eligibility and provided they are currently unemployed," said Valli Smith, the local Title V program representative.

Interested senior job seekers can begin the process by meeting with Smith to determine eligibility. They also register as a job seeker and attend two workshops at the career center that gives Smith the opportunity to get to know the candidates job interests and skills. If eligible, the participant would work 30 hours per week at minimum wage.

"When we have a Title V position available that seems suited for a participant, I let them know about the assignment and ask if they would like to be considered for it," said Smith. "It's on-the-job training paid for by the Title V program, not the employer."

Job search

The employers - called "host agencies" - invest their time working with the participant and teaching them specific job skills. Once the participant has reached a level of proficiency in the position, they are required to look for unsubsidized employment at least twice a month and complete a job search log.

"Once a participant finds a full-time job, that opens up another slot for someone else because our funding is limited," said Smith.

According to Smith, older workers can find it difficult to reenter the workforce. He said employers should consider that older workers have years of experience and a good work ethic. They are also punctual, have a lower rate of absenteeism than younger workers, are natural mentors and are willing to work flexible schedules, according to studies conducted by the Area Agency on Aging.

"Employers should think about what it will be like when they're older and need a job because none of us are getting any younger," said Smith.

More information on the Title V program is available at the One-Stop Career Center located in the Mohave County Administrative Building at 700 West Beale Street in Kingman.