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SBCC’s Adult Ed to Hold Job Fair for Senior Citizens

Age well and get paid for it, says career counselor Don Lubach.

While most of today’s career counselors tend toward the 20-something set just getting their first real taste of the workforce, Don Lubach is headed in another direction completely: the over-50 population.

His mission? To convince everyone that becoming a senior citizen doesn’t mean becoming useless in the workforce.

“The worst thing that mature workers encounter are the stereotypes,” said Lubach, who has been a career counselor for about 20 years. These stereotypes include the notion that older people in the workplace are less energetic, less enthusiastic or less able to keep up with the rest of the staff.

Quite the opposite, said Lubach. In fact, according to what he’s found out, mature workers have less absenteeism and just as much or more energy.

“Generally, mature workers understand the importance of work,” he said.

But while getting back into the workforce is difficult for anyone at any age, seniors have their own challenges, including the notion that one is supposed to retire at a certain age, regardless of their ability or competence.

“They follow the old path and old patterns…they forget that that they still have so much to offer,” he said.

So as part of the SBCC Adult Education Omega Program, Lubach isspearheading a Celebration of Retirement-aged Employment, a job fairand workshop aimed at helping seniors get back into the workforce.

To help kickstart the job hunt for seniors, the fair is going to feature two speakers: Kerry McCoy, founding director of HRXpress, who’s going to talk about how to use one’s age as an advantage; and Dr. Dennis Nord, director emeritus from UCSB’s Counseling and Career Services, who will speak on finding a meaningful job. Rumor has it that Congresswoman Lois Capps, a prime example of a mature worker with lots to offer, might be there as well.

Local employers like the County of Santa Barbara and Westmont College will be on hand to answer questions and perhaps interview and recruit some senior workers. W2 Energy Development Corporation, a company of senior citizens researching and inventing energy solutions and new energy technologies, will be there as well, looking for “seasoned inventors and engineers.”

Jobhunters should be prepared with a resume, said Lubach; last year many of the employers were hoping to get some new recruits only to find that people weren’t ready. To help with putting a snappy resume together, a workshop will be held on Friday, Nov. 2.

This fair is in its second year, said Lubach, who was stunned by the success of the first one, and by the sheer number of local seniors and employers wanting to connect.

Another added benefit for seniors in the workforce? They tend to age better than their counterparts who may not be as active or as engaged.

"You can get paid to age well," said Lubach.

All events will be held at the Thornton Auditorium in the Wake Center at 300 N.Turnpike Road. The resume workshop will be 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, and the job fair will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10. For information, call Eric Hancey at 455-0500.

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