Older American workers are “dependable, trainable, willing to learn” and “produce quality work, instead of just quantity,” said Mangle Shanks, employment and training coordinator of Experience Works.
To commemorate May as older Americans month, Experience Works, which trains older workers to re-enter the workforce, held a celebration reception Wednesday for Lowndes County”s 10 program participants and their host agencies.
Columbus Mayor Robert Smith presented a proclamation saluting older American workers and their “continued contributions.”
And participants were recognized for their outstanding work with host agencies, including Mary Rose Little, who worked for RTP; Cratise Helton, who worked for The Palmer Home Thrift Store; Christine Chandler and Glenn Spitler, who worked for Contact Helpline; Essie Cohen, who worked for the Greater Columbus Learning Center; and Martha Williams, who worked for Evans Christian Learning Center.
Additionally, program participants Catherine Harris, Hettie Easley, Robert Riebes, Doris Millett and Cleo Lee, who work with Experience Works, were recognized.
“I enjoy the job,” said Cohen, 60. “I learn a lot (and) how to get along with students. They have given me time and training.”
Since she began work as a Contact Helpline “reassurance caller,” Chandler, 59, also has started social work classes at East Mississippi Community College.
“I find that I enjoy working with older people in the community,” she said. “Contact has really helped me a lot.”
When the textile company at which she was employed for 35 years went out of business in 2007, Chandler was “totally lost,” she recalled.
“(Experience Works) helped me with computer skills, multitasking, talking to people and relating to different ages,” she said. “It has given me the confidence (to know) being an older American is not the end of the world. You can go on to do greater things, if you”ve got that confidence.”
Experience Works is a national, charitable, community-based organization helping older adults get training and transitional support to find jobs their communities.
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