Letters to the Editor

Aging population offers experienced workforce

The other day I was at the Iowa Workforce Development office near Marion. It was crowded, but not with young people. Most people I saw looked well over 50. These are people looking for work. Even those on Social Security now must have other income as that is not enough to pay property taxes, utilities, home repair and maintenance, let alone food and health care.

According to the Iowa Data Center, by 2020 almost 25 percent of Iowans will be over 60. Many of these people will have decades of experience, knowledge, refined skills and, not doubt, wisdom. Almost 20 percent will be college graduates. And not one of us is ready to just sit around and wait for the letter carrier.

We see daily reports of employers not finding qualified workers. But I can tell you from direct experience that human resource departments are not inclined to recruit older workers ­— even those with significant experience and potential value.

I challenge younger CEO’s and business leaders to overcome preconceived notions about age — and wake up to the potential of high productivity that older experienced workers can bring into their workplace.

Thomas Simon

Mount Vernon

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