MILWAUKEE - Whether switching to remote work or losing a job altogether, the coronavirus pandemic affected workers in many ways. Many older workers continue to feel the impact.
"So at 55 years old and older, trying to save for retirement, maintain your financial security and then you lose your job, it’s a really tough, tough situation," said Susan Weinstock, AARP VP of financial resilience.
Weinstock shared employment advice as data show half of those who are 55 and older are long-term unemployed workers who are often overlooked.
"We've never had a number so high," said Weinstock. "When we asked this past May, 78% of older workers said they had seen or experienced age discrimination."
Weinstock said now is the time for skill-building.
"Older workers very much want to learn new skills," said Weinstock. "Two-thirds told us that they are very interested in learning new skills. That number, actually, for African American, Blacks is higher than that. It was 74%, and for Hispanic Latinos, it’s 82%, and 94% of older workers said they’d be willing to take a training or learn a new skill if they were told to by a current or a potential employer."
The organization launched an online learning platform with self-paced courses in technology, computers, licensing, digital marketing, communications and project management, which are in demand.
"We want to support those older workers, get them back into the workforce and get them feeling comfortable getting that new job," said Weinstock.
Links can also lead you to a job board.
"These are employers who value older workers, value a multi-generational workforce," said Weinstock. "Build that network. It's very important."