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Ohio Department of Aging Press Release

Aug. 25, 2010

Ohio Senior Civic Engagement Council Submits Recommendations to Governor, General Assembly

Initiatives Will Promote Lifelong Learning, Employment and Voluntarism

COLUMBUS - The Ohio Senior Civic Engagement Council submitted 13 recommendations to Governor Ted Strickland and members of the General Assembly. The council's report suggests ways the state can better create and promote opportunities for older Ohioans to continue their educations, return to or remain in the workforce and tailor volunteer opportunities to their skills and interests.

"Each month, 12,000 Ohioans turn 60. Our aging population will affect the state in some powerful ways," said Barbara E. Riley, director of the Department of Aging and co-chair of the council. "State leaders, employers, educational institutions and volunteer organizations will need to be able to tap into our fastest growing group of workers, students and volunteers to meet our state's needs now and into the future."

The council developed 13 recommendations, divided into four general topic areas:

    Global Considerations

  1. Conduct a statewide marketing campaign to inform older adults about available educational, workforce and volunteer programs and activities.
  2. Conduct the Ohio Third Age Longitudinal Study to help Ohio's experts identify crucially important factors related to older adults' contributions to society, the benefits for them and any barriers.
  3. Lifelong Learning

  4. Increase participation in, tracking of, and recognition for non-credit, lifelong learning classes.
  5. Develop and implement a statewide process to obtain data on the number of adult students age 50 and older enrolled in non-credit classes at Ohio's public higher education institutions.
  6. Promote Program 60 to academic institutions to increase utilization of the for-credit option.
  7. Establish a statewide senior engagement professional consortium.
  8. Employment

  9. Organize an annual statewide event or regional events to connect employers with the aging, workforce and educational systems.
  10. Leverage existing resources to conduct statewide surveys of older adults and employers.
  11. Facilitate and encourage older worker representation in workforce development groups.
  12. Reallocate funding for and awareness of existing resources and partnerships that assist older workers.
  13. Promote workforce development and aging systems collaboration.
  14. Voluntarism

  15. Designate a statewide organization to support older volunteers and volunteer organizations to promote and strengthen civic engagement.
  16. Create and coordinate systems for collecting data about the number and diversity of older volunteers and the opportunities available.

Governor Strickland formed the Ohio Senior Civic Engagement Council in 2008. Over the past year, the council has identified ways that older adults' engagement in employment, volunteering and lifelong learning can be enhanced and continue to positively influence our state. Read the council's full report of formal recommendations on the Ohio Department of Aging's Web site: www.aging.ohio.gov/services/seniorcivicengagementinitiative/

About ODA - The Ohio Department of Aging provides leadership for the delivery of services and supports that improve and promote quality of life and personal choice for older Ohioans, adults with disabilities, their families and their caregivers. Working with 12 area agencies on aging and other community partners, the department offers home- and community-based Medicaid waiver programs such as PASSPORT, the long-term care ombudsman program, the Golden Buckeye Card and more. Visit www.aging.ohio.gov.