aarp logo

What is Back To Work 50+ ?

At the same time that many 50+ workers are raising children and helping aging parents, over three million are looking for full-time employment. The Great Recession has left Americans age 50+ facing the largest overall increase in long-term unemployment, the longest spells of joblessness and the least likelihood of finding a job. Older women bear the greater share of this burden: 60% of women 65 and older have incomes insufficient to cover basic, daily expenses.

About Back To Work 50+

50+ jobseekers need help gaining skills, finding jobs and building financial security. One promising approach is to encourage existing community intermediaries – like community colleges and workforce investment boards – to put new emphasis on helping 50+ workers find new and better jobs. The AARP Foundation’s BACK TO WORK 50+ program is supporting over 20 sites across the country as they build programs and services targeting 50+ workers. BACK TO WORK 50+ connects 50+ workers with information; training, support, work experience, and employer access they need to get back into the workforce and sustain their income through employment. Early results suggest that this approach may bear fruit, as thousands of 50+ job seekers have called the AARP Foundation’s national toll-free hotline just in 2014.

We help 50+ job seekers overcome barriers to finding barriers to finding better jobs through:

  • Outreach to 50+ job candidates through mass market advertising.
  • AARP Foundation’s national contact center as a single point of initial contact.
  • Specific skills training for in-demand jobs.
  • Support for institutions that build strong ties to employers and infuse employer perspective into each aspect of BACK TO WORK 50+.
  • A shared platform for identifying and assessing best practices in supporting 50+ low-income job seekers in building skills and making connections that lead to full-time jobs and increased economic security.
  • Access to a common menu of core employment services across more than 20 locations nationwide.
  • Career counseling, job coaching and skills development for 50+ jobseekers.
  • Needs assessment and referrals to supportive service, in collaboration with other programs designed to help 50+ workers, including Workforce Investment Act, Supplimental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), housing assistance, and the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP).
  • Financial skills training and financial crisis counseling.

Who Is This Program For?

This program is for unemployed and underemployed people aged 50 to 64 looking to gain confidence, skills, and explore opportunities needed to find full-time employment.