USA Today Recognizes Growing Encore Movement

From coast to coast, encore careers have arrived.

In an extraordinary front-page story, USA Today explores what it calls a national, “growing `encore careers’ movement.”

The movement, reporter Richard Wolf writes, “has spawned nonprofit groups and programs from Boston to Portland, Ore., aimed at helping older workers find new work.”

The article cites research sponsored by MetLife Foundation and Civic Ventures, which discovered that there are 5 million people already in encore careers and that the country needs millions more by 2018 to dodge an impending labor shortage.

Wolf’s piece looks at the encore phenomenon through people who have taken the journey. Pat Daly moved from investment banking to promoting education for a nonprofit. The work, though it pays far less, is so gratifying, she says, “I have absolutely no interest in going back to corporate.”

The article also features Purpose Prize winner Gary Maxworthy, former president of a food brokerage company who created the nonprofit Farm to Family to distribute fresh produce to California food banks.

And it showcases the work of Elaine Santore, who co-founded Encore Opportunity Award winner Umbrella of the Capital District. The upstate New York organization creates a pathway to encore careers by recruiting seniors to perform housekeeping and maintenance in the homes of other seniors, allowing the clients to stay in their homes.

Though some question whether there will be enough jobs for encore workers – and whether hiring managers in their 30s will accept job applicants in their 50s and beyond – the article indicates that encore careers are already experiencing a surge.

Civic Ventures founder and CEO Marc Freedman explains why: “People are hitting the reset button. There is a tremendous feeling of kind of returning to earlier ideals.”