National Group Honors Champions for Older Workers

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Experience Works honored its 2009 National Champions for older workers at events held this week In Washington, D.C. The recognition was held in conjunction with National Employ Older Workers Week. The National Champions are from Missouri, Oregon and Puerto Rico.

We are delighted to honor these outstanding individuals and organizations and recognize the contributions they make in their communities

Experience Works has announced its 2009 National Champions for older workers. They are Lorraine Loy from Raymondville, Missouri; the Municipality of Yauco, Puerto Rico; and the Home Instead Senior Care franchise in Lane County, Oregon.

Experience Works, the nation's largest nonprofit training and employment organization for older workers, chose the national winners from among nominations submitted from Puerto Rico and the 30 states in which Experience Works administers the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). Experience Works introduced the winners during a briefing on Capitol Hill as part of National Employ Older Workers Week.

The three Champion Award categories are: Experience Works Participant Champion, recognizing an older worker who has overcome significant barriers to achieve workplace success; Host Agency Champion, honoring a nonprofit agency or public entity that has provided outstanding on-the-job training opportunities to older workers; and Employer Champion, highlighting an employer's dedication to hiring and retaining older workers.

The 2009 Experience Works National Champions by category are:

Participant National Champion - Lorraine Loy, Raymondville, Missouri: Lorraine Loy's positive attitude, perseverance and willingness to learn new skills helped her land a new job and serve as an example for other older individuals who are looking for work.

The 60-year-old and her husband, who suffers from health problems, moved from Louisiana to Houston, Missouri, in search of a better life shortly after Hurricane Rita turned their lives upside-down. However, jobs were scarce, and the couple soon found themselves in a desperate financial situation - often choosing between medicine and food. Never one to rely on charity,

Lorraine turned to Experience Works and was given an opportunity to update her job skills through on-the-job training assignments at a local food pantry and the USDA Forest Service. In June 2008, she accepted a permanent full-time position with the Forest Service and, for the first time in five years, she began receiving health insurance benefits.

Host Agency National Champion - The Municipality of Yauco, Puerto Rico: A SCSEP host agency since 2001, the Municipality of Yauco has been extremely generous with its time, facilities and materials - providing older workers with the opportunity to achieve a better quality of life.

During the past four years, Yauco served as the training site for 54 Experience Works participants - providing training for groundskeepers, office clerks, receptionists, maintenance workers and mechanic's helpers. Thirty-four of these participants have entered into employment with the Municipality. Through supportive services, Yauco has provided participants with unsubsidized housing, assistance with first month's rent and utilities payments. The agency also provides transportation for health services and other appointments.

Employer National Champion - Home Instead Senior Care franchise office in Lane County, Oregon: An international provider of non-medical home care services for seniors, Home Instead Senior Care has always recognized the valuable qualities of mature workers - depending on their reliability, strong work ethic and ability to relate to other seniors.

The Home Instead Senior Care franchise office in Lane County, Oregon, has demonstrated a strong commitment to hiring older workers. The office offers flexible hours and the majority of its staff is 50 years old or older. In addition, the Home Instead Senior Care office recently worked with Experience Works to develop a unique training program for SCSEP participants. The specially-designed, two-week training curriculum includes courses in Red Cross CPR, First Aid, The Aging Brain, Alzheimer's disease, Medication Management and Conflict Resolution. Each graduate receives a Certificate of Completion. To date, 14 Experience Works participants have completed the program and 11 have secured employment with Home Instead Senior Care.

"We are delighted to honor these outstanding individuals and organizations and recognize the contributions they make in their communities," said Cynthia Metzler, president and CEO of Experience Works. "We greatly appreciate their efforts and the support of all of our partners as we work to fulfill our mission to improve the lives of older people through training, community service and employment."

For more information about the Experience Works Champion Awards, or to find out about Experience Works' services available to older job seekers, host agencies or employers, please visit http://www.experienceworks.org or call 866-397-9757.

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Claudia Bohn
Experience Works
888-296-2411 ext. 4
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