Bexley News

Employment for Seniors Inc.

Expo strives to link job-seekers, opportunities

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A central Ohio nonprofit agency will host an expo this month to help link older adults to employment opportunities and provide education and resources to equip them for the 21st-century job market.

Employment for Seniors Inc. will host the 19th annual Central Ohio Senior Career Education & Resource Expo from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 14 at Ohio State University's Fawcett Center, 2400 Olentangy River Road, Columbus.

The event is geared to assist older adults -- primarily those age 50 and older -- in finding employment opportunities by meeting with job recruiters and other representatives of central Ohio businesses and nonprofit organizations.

It's also designed to provide mature job-seekers with information and tools necessary to land career opportunities, including resume reviews and workshops to promote confidence.

"When we started our program, we were the only job fair for seniors in central Ohio," said Carol Ventresca, Employment for Seniors executive director. "Our goal is to help our mature job-seekers become the best possible job candidates they can be.

"We want to make sure everyone in (the Columbus area) has a good job," she said. "That's our goal -- that people are working -- because that strengthens communities. That strengthens families."

The expo is free, as is on-site parking.

Employment for Seniors is a nonprofit organization that serves people 50 and older throughout central Ohio. It touts itself as the "premier resource linking mature adults with employment opportunities."

Ventresca said because of the economic climate and because many mature adults wish to remain active and work after typical retirement ages, Employment for Seniors seeks to link employers with them. She also noted there are misconceptions about people in that age group, including the idea that they're too old to work or to learn new trades.

She said there are more than 2.3 million Ohioans age 50-64, including 201,000 in Franklin County, who may need some assistance in finding find the right opportunity.

According to a report released by the National Council on Aging (NCOA) to mark National Employ Older Workers Week (Sept. 22-28), the U.S. economic downturn that began in 2008 affected older workers' savings and employment prospects.

In 2012, the report noted, more than 3.5 million Americans age 55 or older had yet to retire. The report also stated older adults who lose their jobs remain unemployed, on average, close to 20 weeks longer than those age 25-34.

Ventresca said the annual expo attracts between 500 and 1,000 would-be workers. Job recruiters in virtually all professional fields who are seeking everything from part-time and seasonal to full-time employees will be on hand.

Additionally, the expo will feature a variety of workshops to help prepare older adults for landing a job. These will include sessions on social media, developing interview skills, using resources to enhance job searches and financial planning for retirement.

"We have an open door and we want people to come in and have an opportunity to learn and network," Ventresca said. "We say we're the expo serves 'mature' job-seekers. If somebody in need of a job comes, I am not checking ages at the door."

Additional information about Employment for Seniors and the annual expo can be found at www.employseniors.org.

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