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Effort to re-educate Baby Boomers continues

Community colleges are banding together to educate Baby Boomers in new careers as part of a Plus 50 Encore Completion Program.
Community colleges are banding together to educate Baby Boomers in new careers as part of a Plus 50 Encore Completion Program.
AACC photo

The nationwide effort to help train Baby Boomers in new careers through a consortium of community colleges is growing.

The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) announced recently that 17 additional community colleges have joined the roster of colleges whose mission is to train 10,000 baby boomers over the next three years for new jobs in healthcare, education and social service.

The 17 newly-selected colleges are: Blue Ridge Community and Technical College (Martinsburg, W. Va.), Elgin Community College (Elgin, Ill.), Guam Community College (Mangilao, Guam), Halifax Community College (Weldon, N.C.), Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, Northwest (Valparaiso), Lake Region State College (Devils Lake, N.D.), Lenoir Community College (Kingston, N.C.), Montgomery County Community College (Blue Bell, Pa.), Northern Wyoming Community College District (Sheridan, Wyo.), Norwalk Community College (Norwalk, Conn.), Salt Lake Community College (Salt Lake City, Utah), Seminole State College of Florida (Sanford, Fla.), Tallahassee Community College (Tallahassee, Fla.), Tarrant County College District (Fort Worth, Texas), Tri-County Technical College (Pendleton, S.C.), Wayne County Community College District (Detroit, Mich.), and Zane State College (Zanesville, Ohio).

They join the 11 community colleges that were named in August 2012 to participate in the Plus 50 Encore Completion Program.

Those 11 include: Arapahoe Community College (Littleton, Colo.), Black River Technical College (Pocahontas, Ark.), Broome Community College (Binghamton, N.Y.), John Wood Community College (Quincy, Ill.), Lansing Community College (Lansing, Mich.), Owens State Community College (Perrysburg, Ohio), Pitt Community College (Winterville, N.C.), San Jacinto Community College District (Pasadena, Texas), Southside Virginia Community College (Alberta, Va.), Waubonsee Community College (Aurora, Ill.) and West Virginia University at Parkersburg (W.Va.).

“Many adults age 50 and over want to train for new jobs that help others and are hiring, but they need to update their skills. Community colleges offer a supportive environment where baby boomers can train for new jobs quickly and affordably,” Mary Sue Vickers, director for the Plus 50 Initiative at AACC, said in a statement.

For many Baby Boomers, these are encore careers, often jobs that appeal to a person's passion. These second careers come after job loss or even retirement from a long-standing career in another field.

Vickers added that the program hopes to add additional colleges in 2013 that will help it reach 10,000 Baby Boomer students. The next round of grant funding applications for AACC member colleges will be accepted until Feb. 15 and are available now at www.aacc.nche.edu/plus50rfp.

In addition to grant funds to augment training programs, participating colleges gain access to toolkits and extensive marketing resources tailored to reach Baby Boomers. AACC said they’ll also benefit from the advice and support of staff at other community colleges that have successfully implemented programs for older learners and understand the needs of the plus 50 student population.

The Plus 50 Encore Completion Program is funded with a $3.2 million grant to AACC provided by Deerbrook Charitable Trust.

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