Elders in the Workforce

A state agency in Florida is trying to help senior citizens with a troubling trend. Studies show 14 percent of the working population is 55 and older, but by the year 2012 that number is expected to climb to 20 percent, and often times it's not the senior citizen's choice.

Marjorie Brenner retired in 1980, but several years later she realized it wasn't going to be permanent. Three years ago she went back to work.

Marjorie Brenner, a Tallahassee Senior Center employee, says, “It gives me structure. I need that because otherwise I don't have anything important to do in my view, so it's filled most of the voids for me.”

But like many senior citizens, money played a big role in her decision to re-enter the workforce. That's why the Florida Department of Elder Affairs has an ad campaign to assist older workers.

Joann Williams of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs says, “There are some challenges because we have to prove to employment agencies in the community that older workers offer value and I think that many businesses are embracing that.”

In fact, Tallahassee's H&R Block is actively recruiting senior citizens for the upcoming tax season. Managers say they make ideal employees.

Laverne Horton, H&R Block manager, says, “They're excited about working, they have strong work ethic, they come on time, call if they can't and they are just so valuable.”

If you are an older worker looking to re-enter the workforce, or a local business interested in joining forces with the Department of Elder Affairs, call 1-800-96-ELDER.