Delaware Tech was recently chosen to join the Plus 50 Encore Completion Program, a national effort to train 10,000 baby boomers for new jobs in healthcare, education and social services. The college received a $15,000 grant to be used for students 50 and older. The program is sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges.
The college will assist adults in completing degrees or certificates in high-demand occupations that give back to the community. With many adults age 50 and over out of work or seeking to transition to a new career, the program offers skill updates and career makeovers for baby boomers.
Since 2008, AACC and its network of Plus 50 Initiative colleges have supported baby boomers coming to college and helped them prepare for new careers. Eighty-nine percent of students participating in AACC’s Plus 50 Initiative told an independent evaluator that college workforce training helped them acquire new job skills, and 72 percent attributed landing a job to such training.
“Baby boomers who are out of work or want to transition into new career fields need to update their skills. Community colleges are affordable and working to help baby boomers, even if they’ve never stepped on a college campus before,” said Mary Sue Vickers, director for the Plus 50 Initiative at AACC.
Vickers added that many of the plus-50 adults who participate in the program also find great meaning and purpose in their work after they get hired. “Jobs in healthcare, education and social services give baby boomers a way to give back to society, so plus-50 adults find these careers to be particularly rewarding,” said Vickers.
In addition to providing grant funds that augment college workforce training programs, participating colleges gain access to toolkits and extensive marketing resources tailored to reach baby boomers. They also benefit from the advice and support of staff at other community colleges that have successfully implemented programs for older learners and understand the unique needs of the plus-50 student population.
For more information about the Plus 50 Initiative at AACC, go to plus50.aacc.nche.edu.