useful road sign webDid you know that the last full week in September is National Employ Older Workers Week, a time to celebrate and promote the value that our older adults bring to the workforce? Now that the maelstrom of COVID unfurls into a meandering current of normalcy, boomers and seniors are wading back into the workforce. Whether impelled by loneliness and boredom or propelled by financial need, many are seeking part-time employment opportunities. In some cases, seniors desire to pick up a few extra bucks to offset inflation and supplement retirement income yet eschew a full-time commitment and heavy responsibilities.

“I just want to get out of the house on a regular basis, have something to do that is meaningful or somewhat enjoyable, and help offset some of my living expenses now,” says Bethlehem resident Diane. “I want to be available to help out my daughter and have time to visit my grandkids, that’s my priority, so I want something that is flexible for my life right now.” When talking with boomers and seniors who have formally retired from their full-time professions, these sentiments are heard across the Lehigh Valley and the nation. We have listed at the end of this article a few resources that can help needy seniors with their job search.

Three main categories come to mind when surveying the job market: fun jobs, fulfilling jobs, and seasonal jobs. Of course, qualifications, compensation, and other considerations vary according to the employer’s needs, but a little research will help you find a fit. Or you can just cruise the highways and take note of the billboards and road signs advertising openings in a variety of fields. Also, given the current employment situation, the advertisers that you see in our magazine are probably seeking part-time employees in numerous areas of their organizations! Fun jobs are usually found at local attractions. These range from amusement parks to museums to historical organizations. Fun can be fun for fun’s sake, but fun can also be a vehicle for education. Some work may be simple, some may require training. A few places to check are the Lehigh Valley Zoo, Crayola Factory, ArtsQuest, Symphony Hall, Dorney Park, State Theatre, indoor rec areas like Sky Zone, historical societies, parks and recreation areas, municipal sites, schools—whatever you can think of. It never hurts to inquire! An example of what is out there comes from Stacy
Ross, HR Manager for the Allentown Art Museum. At the Museum, we are looking for a few part-time museum guards and thought it might be a match for those over 55 looking for a bit of money and a way to stay active in their community. We are a really interesting place to work and our visitor services usually work 5-hour shifts. Great for covering a dinner out or a full tank of gas! Fulfilling jobs are generally found in the service, education, medical, ministry, and healthcare sectors, among others. Following are some local examples to give you a taste of what is available. Perhaps you have never thought of these!

Cetronia Ambulance has part-time Paratransit positions that entail providing non-emergency medical transportation for patients. This could be for litter or LIFESTYLES OVER 50 Lehigh Valley Fall 2022 131641 33rd St., SW Allentown 9 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday
wheelchair-bound individuals. There are strict requirements for the position that can be found here: cetronia.org/jobs/paratransit-driver.
ComforCare Home Care says, “Live your best life possible by helping others live theirs.” Be a part of a certified Great Place To Work®! In brief, caregivers assist with daily activities to help clients stay independent and in their own homes. This can include personal care, mobility assistance and exercise, meal prep, companionship, and other caring activities. If you have a passion to serve and help others live their best lives possible, home care may be for you! tinyurl.com/yhsw4cxj

Seniors Helping Seniors is unique in the home care field because their caregivers are exclusively seniors. Enjoy a flexible schedule, earn extra income, and lend a hand with a senior’s daily living needs. If you are an experienced caregiver or just love helping others, Seniors Helping Seniors may be for you! seniorcarelehighvalley.com The Vero at Bethlehem is putting the finishing touches on their construction and hoping to open their doors in February of 2023. If you want to be a part of something new, check their website for opportunities. They will be hiring a business office manager, memory care director, chef, caregivers, and receptionists. leisurecare.com/our-communities/vero-bethlehem
Schools—trade and otherwise—and craft stores are looking for instructors with your experience and skills. Seasonal jobs are good if you aren’t quite ready to commit to jumping back into the workforce on a permanent basis, you could test-drive some seasonal jobs from any number of local retailers, restaurants and diners, and other companies that gear up for the holiday season. The best part is that you may score some employee discounts to offset your holiday budget and you will have peace of mind knowing your commitment will end after the holiday season.
Resources
Following are some of the many resources that may help your job search.
AARP Foundation Senior Community Service Employment Program, 10 E. Church St., Bethlehem, #501 | 610-865-3002 | aarp.org/aarp-foundation/our-work/income/scsep
AARP Job Search Resources for 50+ | aarp.org/work/job-search/resources-for-50-plus-workers
Jobs for Seniors in Pennsylvania | retirementjobs.com/jobs-over-50/jobs-for-seniors/pennsylvania
PA CareerLink Lehigh Valley | careerlinklehighvalley.org
Happy Hunting!

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