Goodwill Manasota is currently putting 177 seniors back to work while serving the needs of the community employers. According to Bob Rosinsky, president and CEO of Goodwill Manasota, it is good news but also an issue that has been persistent.
“Older Americans want and need to remain in the workplace past traditional retirement age,” he says. “Those lacking jobs face a particularly tough time finding new positions,” said Rosinsky.
He said the economic downturn, disappearing retirement funds and people living longer lives explain the hardship. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for people ages 55 years and older has increased sharply since the recession in 2007.
By 2010, workers who were 55 and older experienced an average duration of joblessness of 35.5 weeks before they found gainful employment.
“More senior citizens can — and want — to work these days,” Rosinsky said. “But there are fewer jobs available.”
At Goodwill Manasota, more than 23% of employees are over the age of 55 and its two oldest employees are 83 and 93. The Centergate Bookstore has the highest number of senior employees.
Employers and employees agree that the older generation of workers has a great work ethic.
“Even the younger managers said the same thing, that they have a great work ethic,” says Yen Reed, director of marketing for Goodwill Manasota. “It’s a generational thing.”