Workforce Solutions & HCC Partner to Facilitate Back to Work 50+, an AARP Foundation Initiative
During my employment with Workforce Solutions, I have participated in several successful business partnerships within our community. Today I am shining the spotlight on one partnership with the Houston Community College (HCC)/AARP Foundation’s Back to Work 50+ Initiative (BTW50+). Our partnership began on February 19, 2019. Fellow Regional Team member, Carolyn Kennard and I were chosen to facilitate the Coaching Program along with our Team Lead, Dana Sturdevant. Dana currently serves as Program Director of Community Programs with HCC.
In celebration of our Workforce Solutions/HCC relationship, I asked Dana for an informal interview. I’m excited to report she generously agreed to share her time and expertise. To our lucky audience, jobseekers, and fellow bloggers, Enjoy!
Frieda: Thanks for joining me, Dana! I’m sure our readers will want to know more about you. Tell us about your education and professional background with HCC.
Dana: With a Bachelor’s in Business Management, I came to HCC with a background in business and education. I worked in education for over 13 years including classroom, career, and technical administration. I have experience in corporate and non-profit management.
I began my journey with HCC as Program Director for Community Learning where I worked to offer engaging opportunities throughout the communities surrounding our campuses. I was thrilled that my area was chosen to take the lead in implementing a brand-new partnership with the AARP Foundation back in 2018.
Frieda: BTW50+ is perfectly suited for today’s more “seasoned” jobseekers. Tell us more about the origin of the “BTW50+ Initiative” and how HCC became involved?
Dana: The AARP Foundation developed BTW50+ for individuals who were previously employed with moderate-income jobs and now looking to get back into the workforce. Some may have an educational background or outdated computer skills presenting barriers to new employment in jobs. BTW50+ focuses on workers ages 50-64 who are not eligible for other existing programs, because of age or income. The AARP Foundation collaborates with community colleges and organizations around the U.S. to facilitate the program. At the time, the closest partnering organization was approximately 150 miles away! Our two organizations wanted to bring this amazing opportunity to the greater Houston community seniors, to support economic security for all in our backyard.
Frieda: Dana, our participants are always impressed with the curriculum design of the training workbook, “7 Smart Strategies for 50+ Jobseekers.” What are the seven strategies?
Dana: The coaching program focuses on specific strategies for the 50+ job seeker, called 7 Smart Strategies. The entire program is designed around the workbook that participants receive upon registering for a workshop. It includes:
- Strategy 1 Target Your Job Search
- Strategy 2 Create Your Personal Marketing Tools to Impress Employers
- Strategy 3 Conquer the Job Application and Interview Process
- Strategy 4 Get New Work Experience
- Strategy 5 Meet People Who Know People
- Strategy 6 Connect with Organizations That Find Job Candidates for Employers, and
- Strategy 7 Take Time to Focus on Yourself
We provide tips and employer perspectives on all strategies during the initial orientation workshop. For those who commit to the Coaching Cohort (job search skills training), we walk through each strategy in detail with individuals, small group assistance, and coaching.
The next BTW50+ Workshops are scheduled to begin September 28, 2020. If interested register by reaching out to:
AARP Foundation at 855-850-2525 or online at Back to Work 50+.
Join us next time for the conclusion of my Interview Blog with HCC’s Dana Sturdevant. Learn more about the origins of the Workforce Solutions/Houston Community College Partnership and the AARP Foundation’s, Back to Work 50+ Initiative!
Frieda Carmouche is a member of the Regional Facilitator team specializing in training, assisting students, job seekers, employers and career center staff throughout the Gulf Coast region. As Facilitator, she is comfortable with individual coaching, as well as large group presentations. Frieda has proven experience in training jobseekers within various age groups, ethnicity, and cultures regardless of ability or social-economic status. As of October 2019, she has been given the honor of serving as the Regional Team Mentoring Coach to further assist in the career development and growth of newly hired Training Facilitators. She obtained her BFA in Graphic Communications and minored in Psychology from The University of Houston Central Campus. Frieda is a native Houstonian with a passion for workforce development and has been employed by Workforce Solutions for over 20 years.