Explores issues associated with acquiring skills training and education; examines an array of options at postsecondary institutions and other community organizations with related resources to help make informed decisions; highlights emerging trend that maybe beneficial; and provides key findings and policy recommendations to meet the needs of older jobseekers.

“More than 5 years after the official end of the Great Recession, millions of Americans are unemployed, underemployed, or continue to face uncertainty over how long they can hold on to their jobs in a volatile labor market. The labor market has been especially difficult for older job seekers who often experienced long-term unemployment, underemployment, age discrimination, and diminished retirement assets. Many older workers hope that education and skills training programs will help them remain in their jobs or return to work.

This report explores a range of issues relating to skills training and education for older workers, including the challenges older workers face when deciding whether to enroll in education and training programs, and, if so, how to choose a program and pay for it..” (p.1).

Highlights in this analytical report focus in the key components for improving education and training for older workers and include:

1)      The current labor market and financial impacts facing older workers.

2)      Supply and demand challenges identified as skill limitations, access to training and health issues.

3)      The workforce and education training landscape in the education, employment, and non-profit community-based organizations.

4)      Financing education and training through PELL grants, student loans, tax-based education benefits, and workforce training assistance.

5)      Effectiveness of training and emerging trends in both education and training related to degree and certificate programs, online and distance learning, competency-based programs, credit for prior learning, and community college programs for older workers.

6)      The need for employer engagement in education and training.

“Although personal fulfillment and retirement security influence older workers’ decisions about remaining in the workforce beyond the traditional retirement age, the paramount motivation is the need to earn money, according to AARP’s 2013 survey.  The decline of employer-provided defined benefit pensions, the impact of the Great Recession on retirement and other savings, changes in eligibility age for Social Security retirement benefits, and the cost of providing care to family members are among the most important reasons why many older individuals need to work longer than anticipated.” (p.6)

(Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)