The theme among participants at a recent Plus 50 Encore Career event at Terra State Community College was summed up by Lynette Lawless of Fremont when she lightheartedly said, “I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.”
More than a dozen area residents attended the informational event designed for people over 50 who want to pursue a new career.
Lawless is employed and already has two certificates from Terra State, but she’s not sure she’s where she wants to be. She talked to several Terra representatives and thought the event was very helpful.
“I think it’s great especially when you can come in and get ideas,” she said.
Richard Taylor, of Oak Harbor, heard about the event through a newspaper article, and attended to gather information on possible careers.
“I’m unemployed right now, but I’ve still got a few years to work yet,” he said. While welding looked interesting, Taylor wasn’t ready to commit.
“I like to sit down by myself and read through the information I get,” he said.
Kay Reiter, Executive Director of the Sandusky County Economic Development Corp., stopped by to check out the event.
“I’m really pleased with the turnout,” said Reiter, who is also a Terra State trustee. “What has impressed me is how interested everyone is. It’s genuine.”
Reiter said she has been emphasizing the value of older workers to local manufacturers for years.
“This is a group, people over 50, who have great work ethics and make good employees,” she said.
Terra State is one of 36 new colleges recently selected for the Plus 50 Encore Career project. Since 2008, the American Association of Community Colleges and its network of Plus 50 initiative colleges have worked with Baby Boomers and helped them prepare for new careers. An independent evaluation of AACC’s Plus 50 initiative found that 89 percent of students agreed that college workforce training helped them acquire new job skills, and 72 percent attributed landing a job to such training.
The Plus 50 Encore Completion Program supports AACC’s work to increase the number of students who finish degrees, certificates and other credentials.
Kathy Berger, standing, discusses the Plus 50 Encore program with participants