Are you 5 or 50? Either way it's back to school time! Retraining programs are popping up to teach old dogs new tricks. What we don't need: more auto workers. What we do need: more nurses. In Detroit, tuition-free programs are packed to retrain auto workers to be nurses, and there is a waiting list! Michigan is moving away from being a manufacturing state to leading the nation with its No Worker Left Behind program.
Green jobs and technology positions are in demand SO, duh, that is the emphasis of the new training programs. "Geeked up and excited" about retraining to be a Chemical Processing Technician says one older learner. Laid off, 53, and excited about learning to write and edit specific computer programs.
The same learning strategies work for older learners as for younger ones. Break your learning and study time into small segments. Practice. Go over and over the material. Use hands-on as much as possible to apply new knowledge to the workplace. Talk to others about what you are learning to reinforce it in your mind.
Michigan, home of the automotive industry, had to do something with unemployment at 14.5%. According to the AARP Bulletin this need birthed the Fast Start Program through community colleges and is providing "just in time workers" for the exploding solar industry and nursing fields.
So learning really is life long. And did you notice the older workers are not saying "poor me"? They say they are "excited". You CAN teach an old dog new tricks and it can be a lot of fun. If YOU are laid off look into ways to retrain for something in demand. You, too, might be excited and find a whole new life.