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Retirees could be the stop gap for unfilled jobs

• Sep 29, 2017 at 2:00 PM

A pilot program launched this summer will make it easier for companies to hire retirees as temporary or part-time labor, a move that could help address the growing jobs shortage and promote retention of talent.

The brainchild of AARP-Michigan is called Experience for Hire and combines resources from the Michigan Economic Development Corp., Michigan Works! and local chambers of commerce to make it easier for employers to connect to this new, old talent pool.

Launch of the program is currently taking place in four Michigan counties: Ingham, Jackson, Macomb and Wayne.

Meeting the existing demand for employees — currently more than 100,000 unfilled jobs in Michigan — with people already trained and work-ready is a smart solution to help address the immediate problem.

Coordination with and for businesses who need employees will make it easier and more efficient to connect with retirees, as well as with baby boomers who are reaching retirement age at an increasing rate.

And let's face it: Many baby boomers are not ready to retire.

As life expectancy has increased over the years, retirement age has remained relatively the same.

This means that some who retire must continue to work to support the needs of their families. Others might choose to do so just for the satisfaction of continuing in the workforce, whether it be in their chosen career or doing something new.

Experience for Hire could help answer the question many retirees ponder, "Now what?"

Travel is great; so is spending time with family. But for some that's not enough.

Experience for Hire will open doors for those who'd like an opportunity. It will allow them flexibility while empowering them to help develop the next generation of skilled workers, laborers or executives.

This group of workers — many of whom already receive retirement benefits through previous employers or other programs — are still highly skilled assets.

Continuing to use skills and experience with no threat to existing retiree benefits is a boon to retirees.

Employers and job-seeking retirees interested in taking advantage of the program should go to mitalent.org and create an account under the appropriate tab or call the customer contact center at 888-522-0103.

Kudos to AARP-Michigan for hatching this plan and coordinating its implementation with businesses and talent-finding organizations.

Retirees: We want you back.

— LANSING STATE JOURNAL (AP)

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