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Short on Qualified Staff? Consider Hiring Retirees

Finding workers with the right skills and training is becoming increasingly difficult for Michigan employers.

According to the Michigan Future Business Index report, employers report difficulty filling jobs is their number one challenge. In fact, there are an estimated 100,000 jobs in the state waiting to be filled due to a shortage of qualified candidates.

A new partnership will connect employers with retired workers who possess in-demand skillsets. Experience for Hire is a collaboration between AARP Michigan, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Michigan Works and local chambers of commerce. The program will launch in Wayne, Macomb, Ingham and Jackson counties this summer and was announced at this week’s Mackinac Policy Conference.

Workers ages 50 and older tend to be more engaged than younger workers, require less training and in many cases aren’t seeking benefits beyond income.

Paula Cunningham, State Director of AARP Michigan, said retirees have the skillset employers need and they have nothing but time. Many are looking to give back or make a little extra income and older workers can contribute to many industries, including education, health care and the skilled trades.

“This impacts any skill set, anywhere,” she said.

The need for qualified workers goes hand in hand with rebuilding the talent pipeline for skilled trades and occupations that don’t require a four-year degree. Roger Curtis, Director of the Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development, said a renewed focus on making sure students are career-ready is important. Whether that means vocational training while still in high school or early college programs that allow students to graduate with their associate’s degree, retirees can also be tapped to train incoming workers.

“Just like there are many pathways for our young people to get the in-demand skills they need, there are many places our state’s employers can look for people with talent to fill important jobs,” he said. “That includes our veterans and retirees.”

If you’re interested in participating in Experience for Hire as a worker, you can sign up here. Employers can set up an account here.

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Photo credit: Scott Lewis

 

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