Older Iowans who are still on the job could be honored for their energy and dedication in a search underway by an older worker group. Alice Iverson, spokeswoman for “Experience Works” says the search is a national event. It’ll culminate in a Washington, D.C. honor for an outstanding worker in each state and the oldest person working in the nation.
Once you’ve hit retirement age, Iverson says there are many reasons you may still find yourself punching the time-clock. We no longer assume someone will retire at age 65, Iverson says. Some people continue because they haven’t “reached their work goals.” Others, of course, need the money. The group wants to highlight the importance of the older worker in today’s workforce. “Experience Works” offers on-the-job, classroom and occupational-skills training to older workers, often in conjunction with federally-funded programs to teach job skills.
The group hopes to get a lot of suggestions for Iowa’s model older worker. She says it should be someone so outstanding they’re a role model for any worker, of any age. Often it’s someone who’s involved in their community and very dedicated in many ways…who you might point out as a good example of a worker. Candidates are 65 or older, a resident of Iowa, and still working for pay at least 20 hours a week.
Those honored at the state level advance to national ceremonies in Washington, D.C. Iverson says she’s gone to the nation’s capital for three years now with the outstanding older worker from Iowa, and she says it’s been a “tremendous experience,” and one of the highlights of their life.
The 2005 “America Oldest Worker” was 100-year-old Dwight Hauff, owner of Hauff Sporting Goods in Sioux City, Iowa. She says he was featured on the Jay Leno show after that, and his family’s still in touch with her about how positively it affected his life. In addition to offering training, “Experience Works” is an employment organization for “mature workers.”