Posts filed under Senior Employment

Back to School ….It Isn’t Just for Kids

Adulting isn’t easy! 

Written by Yolanda Webb

 Returning to school as an adult

Returning to school as an adult

When we are kids we always say, “I can’t wait until I’m an adult!”  But that reality sets in once you reach that milestone of 20, 30,40,50  and beyond.  Whether it’s marriage, career, kids, bills, health concerns or just the everyday of keeping the everyday moving.  Adulting is hard. 

And sometimes on top of all the everyday stuff is that dream of going back to school to finish, to get a higher degree or just to improve your own potential. 

But, earning a degree is different for adult learners than for those fresh out of high school.   Now that you’re at a different time in your life with more defined goals, life skills and experience your focus on going back to school can be for different reasons.

But as you ponder your next steps before or after retirement what do you need to ask yourself about taking the plunge and going back to school?

Will I Have Room in My Schedule?

Balancing a job, family, and other obligations with school won't be easy.  But it can be done. With the right amount of planning, you can too. When talking with school representatives, ask how many hours you can expect to spend in class and doing class work. Then, create a plan for how to divide your time each day. Simply knowing you have a plan can go a long way.

Beyond this plan, you'll need support from those around you. Before you start classes, let your family know that they'll have to pitch in a little more while you’re in school. Then, talk with your friends about why you’re continuing your education and how much this means to you, so that they can offer emotional support and will understand if you miss the occasional get-together.

Have I Been Out of School Too Long?

In reality, your life and work experience will likely benefit you as a student. Instructors appreciate adult learners who ask informed questions and bring real-world examples to class discussions. Besides that, if you've participated in continuing education courses, learned new software, or had to prepare for presentations at work, then you’ve already been using many of the same skills you’ll need in school.

Today, nontraditional students are becoming the norm and schools often design undergraduate and graduate degree programs with adult learners in mind.

Am I Skilled Enough with Computers or New Technology?

Online programs, these days are designed with ease of use as a key goal for everyone, regardless of technological expertise. So many careers require computer skills today anyway, so, while it might sound stressful, brushing up on your tech knowledge will be good for you.

Will I be Able to Manage the Cost of My Education?

An important aspect of returning to school is knowing what return on investment to expect from your program. Tools like the government’s Occupational Outlook Handbook can offer helpful details about the value of education in specific fields. If you’re worried about the cost of degree completion, make sure you explore all options—including federal financial aid, employer tuition assistance, military benefits, and scholarships from private and public organizations. By transferring credit from past college experience, you may be able to save time and money. And remember, you can always take one or two courses to start and not a full course load.

Moving Forward with Confidence

Remember, age can play in your favor when going back to school. Life and work experience often teach lessons and skills that young students rarely possess, things like time management and not being afraid to seek help when it’s needed. As an adult, you’re likely more organized, responsible, and motivated to get your degree.

Remember going back to school now means you are doing this for you and for your own dreams, aspirations and goals.

Summer...Summer...Summertime

Tips For Enjoying the Sights and Sounds of Summer 

written by Yolanda Webb

 Summer Tips

Summer Tips

I know it when I hear it!  “Summer summer summertime Time to sit back and unwind…”

The sounds of summer almost always begin with Will Smith, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air ushering in summer time with the song that has become the anthem of every backyard barbecue or family reunion.  

Summer Time.  Young or old you know the song.  And if you listen to the lyrics they take you back to your youth and inspire you to days gone by.

But let’s be honest...it’s hot as...well you know.  That song while it inspires us to get outside doesn’t prepare us on how to take in that summer heat.  And let’s face it for many of us that are now while past that prime of summer time, rules on how best to take care of ourselves and those we serve are what’s needed right now.

So how do you sneak in that much needed vitamin D and unwind by spending more time out in the sun?  Try a few of these health tips for summer living outdoors.

  1. Hydrate - Drink water before, during and after any outdoor activity.  Whether a party in the park or running those exercise laps, drink at least 4 ounces of water for every 20 minutes you are outside.

  2. Protect yourself - Everybody needs sunscreen.  And I mean everybody. It does not matter how much melanin you have in your skin you need sunscreen.  Apply a waterproof broad spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15. If you are using a towel while standing at that grill to wipe your face...reapply every two hours or so.

  3. Eat Fresh Fruit - The biggest reason I love summer...the number of local farmers markets or fruit and vegetable vendors selling locally.  When I was a kid growing up we would visit my grandmother in Mobile and everyday, Bump...yep that was his name...Bump would come around in that fruit and vegetable truck and give each kid a plum or peach.  My grandmother would buy ears of corn, watermelon, strawberries, pecans, grapes and more.

  4. Check the time - Did you know the best time to be outside is before 10 a.m and after 4 p.m?  The sun’s rays are often their hottest between those times.

  5. Protect others -  If you have children or an elderly parent or client, protect their face, neck and shoulders with a large brimmed hat and sunglasses.

Enjoy the sights and sounds of summer and to help kick off your summer time enjoy this listen of Summertime by Will Smith (The Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff) 

 
 

Second Chances!

Meritan is proud to offer our participants in our Senior Employment Program the opportunity to learn how to use tablets.  This program was graciously funded by a grant from the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.  From downloading apps to completing online job applications, the first group of participants have recently completed their training and will now began training other participants!

First Tablet Class.jpg

  During the process, one of the participants,  Ms. Fannie Holt, created the amazing video below!

 
 
Posted on July 11, 2017 and filed under Senior Employment.

Meet Mrs. Kathey

 

Have you met Clara Kathey? Mrs. Kathey is a 76 year old participant in our Title V, Senior Job Training and Employment Program. Meritan’s Title V program is about “combining community service and a paycheck until you find your next job.”

Meritan provides on-the-job training for unemployed and/or low-income for those individuals ages 55 and older. This program helps seniors who want to enter or re-enter the workforce but need more career training to better prepare them for the new work-world experience. Our Title V participants receive paid on-site job training at a public agency or a non-profit organization. Our Title V Coordinators help our participants find jobs after their job training is complete. Seniors can be enrolled into this program for a duration of four years. Mrs. Kathey is an outstanding Title V participant that makes an impact to majority of the seniors in the Memphis community.

Mrs. Kathey teaching a Title V Participant how to use WiFi.

Mrs. Kathey heard about Meritan’s Senior Job Training and Employment Program through a strange occurrence. She had been retired for a year and became restless. She received a phone call from Senior Services office in Washington. Mrs. Kathey then told the lady on the phone what she was interested in doing, which was getting back to work part-time. The lady on the phone from Washington then referred Meritan, Inc. to Mrs. Kathey.

She was first assigned to be a receptionist at a homeless shelter; however, 2 days before she began, Meritan offered another job training that appeared to be a better match for Mrs. Kathey. Mrs. Kathey became Title V’s  “Digital Trainer.” Her job training included training seniors around the city of Memphis on how to use modern technology.  Our Title V Coordinators have Mrs. Kathey an instructional book and suitcase, and from there it’s history.

Mrs. Kathey goes to several appointments in Senior Centers to teach other seniors how to best use technology. She loves teaching her iPad classes throughout all of the senior centers. She loves what she does because she teaches those who have a fear of technology. After feels accomplished after the seniors get acquainted with modern technology.

Mrs. Kathey would tell seniors that “The most that they {technology} do is what you feed into them.” She also uses an analogy that she created to help seniors understand the home button on the iPad with comparing the home button to Poplar Avenue. She explains that if you get lost on the iPad, remember to press the home button and get back on Poplar, so you can find your way home.


Currently, there is around 35 seniors on the waiting list. Each digital training course last about 2-4 hours depending on the client’s need. Mrs. Kathey stated, “It has been a joy. I feel good teaching them what I know. When they {seniors} feel good I feel good.”

Mrs. Kathey teaching a Title V participant how to navigate an Android tablet.
Teaching Digital Lessons with Quality and Compassion!

Bessie's Story

After 36 years on the job, Bessie received a phone call from her employer telling her she no longer had a job.

“I was shocked. I was hurt, angry and upset,” she said. “I had worked for the company for 36 years. I worked in the factory. I figured I was so far up in seniority that it never dawned on me that I could get laid off. I felt l like I gave most of my life to the job, and now I was being thrown out to pasture, but I still had a lot of good years left in me.”

Bessie was on unemployment for over 10 months and took some workshops at the American Job Center. There she learned about Meritan’s program to help older adults re-enter the workforce. “They saved me. I was broken,” she said. “I wasn’t sure what to expect, but everyone in the program was just like me with similar stories.”

Meritan’s Title V program helps seniors 55 and older find jobs and receive job training, and the program has a 75 to 80 percent job placement rate. Bessie said that during her orientation with Meritan, she was asked “What do I like to do?” She told us she likes to cook, take care of people, and work with children. When Bessie was placed with Memphis Heritage, she got to do all three.

Bessie was in the Title V program for 48 months and met her durational limit. She said, “I thought it was over for me, but even though I was out of the program, Meritan followed up with me, told me about a job, and set up the interview for me. Using the skills I was taught and going to the workshops, Meritan prepared me for a job at my age doing something I really like: helping people. I am now employed once again with a great company. I want to say THANK YOU MERITAN!

Meritan spoke with Bessie’s supervisor and was told she is a great employee, her clients love her, and she is their biggest recruiter. Her supervisor told us, “Bessie is everything you could ask for in an employee; she’s loyal and dependable. She has referred three or more job candidates to us and all were hired. I wish we had more employees like Bessie!”

 

Posted on June 8, 2016 and filed under Senior Employment.