Giving Compass’ Take:
• MaryAnn Pebler explains how education career pipelines to the aging population can spur economic growth. These pipelines will help young people stay employed, receive college credit, and will help meet the needs of the elderly population in their regions.
• What other ways can the baby boomer generation provide employment opportunities for their millennial counterparts? And how can we make caretaking a more enticing option for younger people to invest their careers in?
• Read about the reasons why the aging population could use more attention from philanthropists.
According to the Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board’s 2016 plan, “Many employers in the region have concerns about their inability to recruit and retain both skilled and unskilled workers. The out-migration of youth and competition with urban areas for talent are often the primary concerns that employers voice.”
But there is a bright spot: Careers connected to the aging population provide an opportunity for equity among rural communities. Rather than younger workers leaving the region to pursue better paying jobs, an aging community can create career opportunities that attract and keep the younger generations so that they may remain in the region and ultimately improve the community’s economic health. Many of these careers are in the field of gerontology—the study of aging adults and their associated physiology, psychology, public health, and policy needs.
A federal ACT for Healthcare grant has enabled our technical college to develop a gerontology program to serve rural northwestern Wisconsin’s growing boomer population. The associate’s degree in gerontology program includes certificates for community-based residential facilities caregivers, dementia care specialists, and health service providers. Students can enter and exit the program as their educational needs dictate, and on earning a degree, their 60 credits are transferable to four-year university programs.
Most students come with work or personal experiences that compel them to expand their knowledge and skills related to working with the senior population, and the program is designed to meet adult learners’ needs. The curriculum is taught either online or via an interactive television broadcast, where students meet for class one evening per week. Students are required to complete two eight-week fieldwork courses in a gerontology-focused setting of their choice.
Read the full article about the aging population by MaryAnn Pebler at Stanford Social Innovation Review.
If you are looking for more articles and resources for North America, take a look at these Giving Compass selections related to impact giving and North America.
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