In August, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) announced that eleven colleges had been chosen to join a national program that would train 10,000 baby boomers over the next three years for new jobs in health care, education, and social service. Called the Plus 50 Encore Completion Program, it is funded by a $3.2 million grant from the Deerbrook Charitable Trust. 2013 is year one, with a kick-off meeting scheduled in San Francisco in April. Community College Report spoke with representatives from three participating colleges about the benefits of the program to both the older generation and to the schools.
Kim Larson-Cooney, executive director of community and workforce programs, Arapahoe Community College (Colo.)
Michael Bankey, Ph.D., associate vice president for workforce and community services, Owens Community College (Ohio)
Robin D. Ambrozy, director, nontraditional programs, West Virginia University at Parkersburg (W.Va.)
Why is it important to focus on baby boomers?
KLC: There is a huge wave hitting the whole country, even internationally. Older people are staying in the workforce, and sometimes want to try something different after they retire. The number of students 50-plus in our market has definitely increased. We have a lot of people that age in some of our small business non-credit classes. Also, our social media classes are bursting at the seams with people 50-plus.