Walmart Foundation Grant to Experience Works Helps Train Older Workers for New Jobs

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A new job training program in six regions through the United States is expected to provide a significant economic boost to local communities. The Putting Experience to Work program is made possible by the partnership of Experience Works and the Wal-Mart Foundation. By training older job seekers to return to the workforce, a significant economic boost is likely for the communities involved.

This program responds to the rapidly unfolding economic crisis, which threatens the self-determination and independence of increasing numbers of older people throughout our nation

Experience Works and the Walmart Foundation are partnering to train up to 800 older adults for new jobs. With more older adults than ever looking for work during challenging economic times, the program announced today will provide a much-needed boost to the economy of local communities as well as the careers of mature workers.

The Putting Experience to Work Program is being funded by a $1.5 million grant from the Walmart Foundation. The money will be used to train job seekers between the ages of 50 and 62 who are low income, unemployed or underemployed in select communities of five states that represent a mix of metropolitan and rural areas. The goal is to assist qualified older adults learn new skills to help them get jobs in their communities. Program services will include: personal and skill assessments; skill development; job search training; stipends and supportive services; and employment lead development.

"This program responds to the rapidly unfolding economic crisis, which threatens the self-determination and independence of increasing numbers of older people throughout our nation," said Cynthia Metzler, Experience Works President and CEO. "With the support of the Walmart Foundation, Experience Works will be positioned to rapidly respond to the unmet needs of unemployed or underemployed older workers in crisis who need services to preserve their dignity, prepare them to effectively look for a job, and provide hope for the future."

"The Walmart Foundation is committed to supporting workers affected by the economic downturn gain access to job opportunities," said Margaret McKenna, President of the Walmart Foundation. "That's why we are pleased to be a part of this project, which gives older adults - who have contributed so much to their communities - the opportunity to continue to play a vital role in the workforce while providing for themselves and their families."

The Putting Experience to Work Program is available in the following U.S. locations. Each of the six territories will receive $250,000:

  • Greater El Dorado, Camden and Arkadelphia, Arkansas areas
  • Greater Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida areas
  • Greater Springfield and Branson, Missouri areas
  • Greater Columbia and Jefferson City, Missouri areas
  • Greater Albany and Saratoga, New York areas
  • Greater Meadville and Titusville, Pennsylvania areas    

In June 2009, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 2 million unemployed workers age 55 and older - an increase of 115 percent since June 2008. When older workers lose jobs, they are less likely to get another one quickly, and they experience greater earnings losses than younger workers, according to the September 2008 brief Older and Out of Work: Trends in Older Worker Displacement.

Experience Works, a national nonprofit organization that helps older adults get the training they need to obtain good jobs, has identified learning skills that are in demand in each of the participating communities.

For more information about The Putting Experience to Work Program, visit http://www.experienceworks.org, or to learn if you qualify for services, call Jo Rinehart, Experience Works, at 1-866-397-9757.

About Philanthropy at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and the Walmart Foundation are proud to support the charitable causes that are important to customers and associates in their own neighborhoods. Through its philanthropic programs and partnerships, the Walmart Foundation funds initiatives focused on creating opportunities in education, workforce development, economic opportunity, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness. From February 1, 2008 through January 31, 2009, Walmart - and its domestic and international foundations - gave more than $423 million in cash and in-kind gifts globally. To learn more, visit http://www.walmartfoundation.org.

Ed. Note: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is the legal trade name of the corporation. The name "Walmart," expressed as one word and without punctuation, is a trademark of the company and is used analogously to describe the company and its stores. Use the trade name when it is necessary to identify the legal entity, such as when reporting financial results, litigation or corporate governance.

Contact: Gina Pappas
Telephone: 888-296-2411 x. 9

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Gina Pappas, Experience Works
Experience Works
888-296-2411 ext. 9
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