Older job seekers told members of the state’s Jobs Creation Commission yesterday that career centers have given them the confidence and skills they need to try to re-enter the work force.
State Sen. Karen Spilka, D-Ashland, and co-chairwoman of the commission, said at the hearing in Framingham Public Library the importance of career centers — which assist unemployed workers to sharpen skill sets, develop connections and discover new career paths — is one of the themes that has emerged during the commission’s statewide tour.
Spilka said securing federal and state funding for the centers, which experience yearly budget cuts, is a top priority for the commission as it looks to begin compiling a report of the tour’s findings for Gov. Deval Patrick.
“We are here … to give the Legislature a state of the economy and make recommendations on how to create jobs,” she said.
The state’s unemployment rate stood at 6.9 percent in February, according to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, which is well below the national unemployment rate in February of 8.3 percent.
The commission, created in 2009 by the Legislature as a way for lawmakers to gauge the health of the state’s economy, heard testimony from three panels consisting of local job seekers, presidents, CEOs and human resource representatives.
The job seekers, all over 50 years old, said they believed age was one of the factors preventing them from finding jobs but said career centers greatly increase their prospects of landing one. The career centers also eased the stress and anxiety that results from the search, they said.
“I can wow them with a telephone interview,” said Arthur Strafuss, 63, of Wayland. “But when I come into an interview and they see this face and the color of my hair, you can actually see the expression on their faces change.”…
- U.S. | Older workers capture more new jobs (jobmarketmonitor.com)
- Skills Gap | Massachusetts : no current worker gap but a persistent skills mismatch or skills gap for selected occupations (jobmarketmonitor.com)
- Is it 75 now instead of 65? (jobmarketmonitor.com)