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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Credential attainment by older workers: The role of community colleges and the Dislocated Worker Program in successful employment outcomes
by Cummins, Phyllis Ann, Ph.D., Miami University, 2013, 198; 3570337
Abstract (Summary)

Workers are remaining in the labor force at older ages and despite their desire to work, those without jobs face unprecedented durations of unemployment. Many of the unemployed lack current skills for jobs in demand and need to either upgrade their skills or be trained for a new occupation to become reemployed. An aging workforce combined with concerns about the long-term viability of social welfare programs has increased the importance of identifying strategies to encourage working at older ages. In recent years there has been increased focus on credential attainment through participation in publicly sponsored employment and training programs. While many older workers benefit from participation in publicly sponsored employment programs, they are less likely than their younger counterparts to receive training services.

This mixed methods research used a combination of multivariate regression, binary logistic regression, and key informant interviews to examine outcomes of older workers who participated in a training program through the Workforce Investment Act’s (WIA) Dislocated Worker Program between April 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009 and/or enrolled in credential programs at community colleges. This involved interviews and site visits at 14 community colleges to gain an understanding of the role community colleges play in linking older students to credential or certificate programs and analysis of secondary data to evaluate the benefits of obtaining a credential. Unemployed workers aged 55 to74 were the focus of the quantitative portion of this research.

Attaining a credential through participation in WIA’s Dislocated Worker Program resulted in improved employment and wage changes as compared to those who were not credentialed. Effective strategies for community college involvement in workforce training were identified and include outreach programs for older students, providing advice for specific programs of study, support during the program to ensure completion, job placement services, and continuing education for skill upgrading. Implementation of programs and policies that encourage work at older ages has the potential to improve economic security and reduce the risk of poverty in retirement. Community colleges and public workforce programs play an important role in meeting the education and training needs of an aging and increasingly diverse population.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kunkel, Suzanne
School: Miami University
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 74/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Gerontology, Labor economics, Adult education
Keywords: Doslocated workers, Job training, Older workers, Workforce training
Publication Number: 3570337
ISBN: 978-1-303-14913-9
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