For the first time, El Dorado County is offering a job-seekers program targeted toward residents ages 55 and older.
There are many people within that age demographic looking for employment, according to Sarah Schmudlach, manager of El Dorado County Connections — One Stop Employment Services. About 40 percent of the county’s residents are 55 years old or older, while the countywide unemployment rate hovers around 11 percent, according to numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
El Dorado doesn’t have specific data on the percentage of older adults seeking work in the county, but Schmudlach said other community organizations have reported high unemployment numbers for this age group.
“We’re looking to expand our outreach to the community and this is a large group of job seekers,” Schmudlach said.
California had one of the highest unemployment rates in the country last month at 9 percent, although the Bureau of Labor reported a 0.4 percent decrease in that rate over the 30-day period.
El Dorado County’s Mature Job Seeker Assistance Program offers an array of free services, many of which are centered around technology and social media. Workshops or one-on-one meetings include help creating and printing resumes, access to computers, copiers and fax machines, updating communication techniques for interviews and social media and networking tips.
“It’s been a topic that’s important to job seekers of all ages, but it’s something this age group might be less familiar with,” Schmudlach said.
For many of these citizens, retirement faded further into the future after the Great Recession. It’s another reason why there are more people aged 55 and older seeking employment now, according to Schmudlach.
“Retirement is what they were planning, but they may have needed to push that back or to supplement that income,” Schmudlach said.
For more information on the program, visit the South Lake Tahoe Connections — One Stop office at 3368 Lake Tahoe Blvd. or call 530-573-4330.