Metro Detroit group training older job seekers for new opportunities

Posted at 6:41 AM, Jul 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-31 17:10:54-04

A change in Michigan’s economy could mean new opportunities for older workers.

In the past, according to hiring experts, older workers found themselves at a disadvantage. However, as the Michigan unemployment rate remains at it’s lowest rate in nearly two decades, more opportunities exist for workers due to a worker shortage. According to economists, the current unemployment rate in Michigan sits at 3.8 percent.

JVS Detroit is now offering services to adult workers looking to begin a second career.

Gerard Baltrusaitis, an employment specialist, told 7 Action News that older workers have more opportunities than ever before. The problem many would-be employees face is that the times have changed when it comes to how they apply. Gone are the days of in-person job applications, networking is key but it’s very different.

“Today they send out ten resumes and don’t hear anything,” said Baltrusaitis. “They send out twenty to thirty resumes and don’t hear anything, they just don’t understand it is a different job market.”

That’s why JVS Detroit has launched a number of programs to target “new” employees — workers that are looking for a second careers wave.

JVS currently offers a new experiences internship program that allows older workers to obtain experience in a new industry to eliminate the employment gap on their resume. They offer a course called “recharge” that guides workers over the age of 50 through the processes of new tech skills, and helps transition them into new jobs. There are also a number of career tune-up courses and networking classes.

Kirsten Breiger is among those who’ve already taken up JVS Detroit on the second-career services.

“The support of other people is what is most important,” said Breiger, noting the help she got from JVS. “If you are out there putting yourself out there as competent and talking about what you are passionate about you will make connections.”

Briefer now works for a baker in Oak Park. Not only did she land a job, she found something that allowed her to utilize her creative skills baking cakes at BT’s Bakery.

“You just have to stay positive,” said Breiger.

If you’d like to learn more about what experts call “encore careers” you can learn more at the JVS website. They are also having a special launch-party for a program they call “ReLaunch” in September, a half-day conference that connects job seekers with strategies to address the emotional, physical and financial aspects of unemployment.

If you’d like to find more information you can find it, here: