FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
9/17/2010

 Illinois Department on Aging touts benefits of older workersin observance of

Observance runs Sept 19-25; State honors older workers next month at ceremony

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Department on Aging Director Charles D. Johnson praises having older adults in the workplace and encourages employers to recognize their contributions. Director Johnson made the comments in observance of National Employ the Older Workers Week when we honor older workers who continue to play a very important role in the Illinois workforce and across the nation. National Employ the Older Workers Week, which runs the last full week of September, is the 19 through 25.

“Today we are healthier and living longer and many remain on the job longer than previous generations,” said Director Johnson. “I am pleased to honor these older workers and urge employers to consider the wealth of knowledge and experience they bring to the workplace.”

In addition to talking about older worker’s contributions, Director Johnson also touched on a program the Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) administers through the Area Agencies on Aging to provide on-the-job skills training to individuals age 55 and older with limited financial resources. The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) is federally funded through Title V of the Older Americans Act also assist low-income seniors who are looking to re-enter the workforce.

Each year, National Employ the Older Workers Week marks the anniversary of the Older Americans Act and proves a timely opportunity to highlight how communities benefit from the contributions of older workers who have remained on the job. According to statistics by the U.S. Bureau of Labor, more than six million older workers remain in the workforce. Those numbers will likely increase as older adults stay off retirement.

For more than 25 years, the Department has hosted the annual Older Workers Awards to recognize older workers and employers that regularly employ workers age 55 and older. This year’s ceremony is Friday, October 15 at the Northfield Center in Springfield.

For more information about program services to assist older adults in Illinois and their caregivers, call the Department on Aging Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966, or for TTY (hearing impaired use only) call 1-888-206-1327.

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