William Way to Launch SAGEWorks
By Natalie Hope McDonald
The William Way Community Center will be launching a new program for those 40 and older starting with a reception next week (April 23). SAGEWorks will officially become part of the center’s senior programming. The work-readiness program is designed specifically for LGBT professionals who need or want to return to the work place.
“Through this program, the center becomes a certified site for the AARP Foundation’s WorkSearch program,” says Ed Miller, senior programs coordinator at the William Way, “a set of online tools that let individuals ‘virtually’ explore new careers, assess and improve work skills, identify training programs and find meaningful employment.”
The SAGEWorks mission is to improve the capacity of LGBT adults over the age of 40 to remain productive, vital and contributing members of the nation’s work force. Not only will it assist people with technology and job skills, but it will help LGBT folks gain a deeper knowledge and understanding of job search strategies as well as community-based employment resources. It also offers lessons in financial planning and security.
The program has already launched in three other centers around the country, including the Center on Halsted in Chicago, as well as in Palm Springs, Calif., and Denver.
“SAGEWorks participants meet with trained coaches who review work experience and resumes,” says Miller, “and help determine the next step of the process.” That could mean everything from getting more computer savvy, to providing hands-on assistance with WorkSearch, or making a referral to a SAGEWorks community partner.
The David Bohnett Cyber Center, which launched earlier this year, will house the new SAGEWorks program. The center actually became a SAGE affiliate (Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders) in 2009 and has been Greater Philadelphia’s primary resource for LGBT elders for the past 15 years – offering social, cultural and educational senior programming.
SAGE and the William Way are also considering community partners to help provide workshops on social media, networking and interviewing, as well as life coaching and dressing for success. There are also opportunities available to host visits at local workplaces and for professionals willing to conduct personal interviews.
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