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Benefits of Older American In the Workforce

image source: (incedogroup.com)

Recently in an article in Huffington Post Small Business, columnist Linda P. Fried discusses the topic of the benefits of the older Americans in the workforce, especially to small businesses and the manufacturing industry. We take a look at how this topic relates to our seniors and small businesses/the manufacturing industry here in South Carolina.

There are a number of factors that keep the Baby Boomers and older Americans in the workforce for longer periods of time than seen in previous decades. Recently, the Columbia Aging Center at Mailman School of Publish Health at Columbia University in NYC published a series of guides, Age Smart Industry Guide, that stresses the importance “to our nation’s well-being and the public’s health that older Americans have the opportunity to stay engaged, playing active roles-at work or in their communities-for as long as possible,” as Fried states in her article.

These Baby Boomers have a benefit to the small businesses or manufacturing industry by having the capability to train the upcoming generation of workers. These older Americans have been working in their trades long enough to become masters of their skills, which they can then pass on to new employees. This relationship between the Baby Boomers and millennials that are currently in or will be entering the workforce in the coming years, creates a unique intergenerational relationship. As the older Americans are sharing their skills, the younger generation is also able to share their skills of understanding this digital age with technology and social media, with the older Americans. Together they form a relationship where all employees are learning new skills and furthering the business or industries where they work.

In December of 2014, Joseph Von Nessen and Doug Woodward, economists at the Moore School’s Division of Research at the University of South Carolina released their 2015 forecast of South Carolina’s steady economic growth to continue, as the ” job creation – the single best indicator of overall economic performance – is expected to grow at 1.9 percent in 2015, mirroring the 2 percent job growth rate seen in 2014, according to Woodward and Von Nessen” stated an article released by USC.

The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce in a press release on April 21st, 2015 stated that March 2015 marked the 64th consecutive month of employment growth in South Carolina. Also, that the first quarter of 2015 saw an all time high in the number of people entering the labor force with the industries of Construction, Education and Health, and Government in March of 2015.

As these new jobs continue to get created and younger people are entering the workforce, older Americans will play a crucial role in the economic success in both South Carolina and nationwide. These employees offer years of experience to the younger employees, and they also will benefit from the lessons of understanding the digital age, that the newer employees can teach them. This intergenerational relationship will help everyone benefit overall, and keep older Americans active in the workforce that they are staying in longer.

This article was written with the help of the following articles:  http://www.sc.edu/uofsc/newsreleases/2014/12_economic_outlook_for_2015.php#.VUz0dWx0zIU; http://dew.sc.gov/ ;   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/linda-p-fried/rethinking-the-role-of-ol_b_7100610.html )