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Looking beyond the immediate to an economic vision—

27 April 2012—How do we create positive action from our demographic reality? Can we benefit from the growth of a mature work force?

Recognizing this dilemma, in 2009 the U.S. Department of Labor supported a three-year Aging Worker Initiative, which funded 10 sites to test new models of serving mature workers. As this initiative comes to a close, the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, which provided technical assistance for the project, will invite leading experts on the mature work force to review what happened at the sites and develop a set of recommendations for policymakers and employers.

Maine has been selected as one of the 10 reviewed sites. The Eastern Maine Development Corp. — where I serve as president — and its partner, the Tri-County Workforce Investment Board, have participated in this effort. In addition, the Boston College Sloan Center on Aging & Work announced this week that experts on this subject will be presenting at a conference in Washington, D.C., on May 3: ” Tapping Mature Talent: Policies for a 21st Century Work force.”

This is an economic reality, albeit a new and potentially challenging one, is being considered nationwide and it’s one where Maine could be a leader.

A mature work force, one with talent not earned through any method other than experience and hard work, has the potential to be a key element in how we shape a new economy.

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