More and more older workers are seeking employment

TAMPA, Fla. — A Tampa nonprofit has noticed an increase in older women seeking help to get them ready for employment again. 

Since 2016, Dress For Success saw a 70 percent increase of women over the age of 50, asking them for their help. Dress for Success is a nonprofit organization. Their motto is to empower women through suits and to also give them hope. 

“We give them a lot of one on one support,” Katie McGill, the executive director at Dress For Success said.

McGill said they offer a 6-week class called Move It Forward. She said more and more seniors are taking advantage of the program. 

“We give them a lot of one on one support and even when the class is over in the 6 weeks, we still have to work with them,” McGill said.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said there are a number of reasons for the increase of older workers. According to their numbers, statewide in 2013 there were 233,000 women 65 years and over who were working. Their latest numbers, from 2017, show it jumped up to 316,000.

“A lot of people are shocked, you know, that… they didn’t realize that these many seniors had to get back to work,” McGill said.

Vileana Briggs, 68, is not a rookie to the career world. 

“I mean we retired and we didn’t expect to have to come back,” Briggs said.

She is one of many women looking for a job. She is currently receiving training on skills like navigating a computer through the senior community employment program of the AARP.

“When you look at the social security numbers and what you need to retire even remotely [comfortably], it’s just not there,” Briggs said.

Briggs said she is looking for a job now. 

“I’m from that school we get it done. You don’t leave at 5. You leave when it’s done,” Briggs said. 

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