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The Ohio Department of Aging

Ohio Department of Aging Civic Engagement Initiative


The Ohio Department of Aging's Civic Engagement Initiative expands the focus of lifelong learning and volunteerism as tools for increasing job readiness among adults age 50-plus. Our goals include:

  • Ensuring that Ohio's older workers have skills and credentials that are aligned with employer needs;
  • Connecting older adults with diverse skills to volunteer opportunities throughout Ohio to help build their communities and their résumés;
  • Providing educational opportunities that both enrich the lives of older adults and offer opportunities for career growth; and
  • Providing tools to local organizations to assist with their efforts to increase civic engagement.

Many of our 50-plus volunteers are already actively engaged and making a valuable impact with their community service. Along with expanding our definition of civic engagement, the initiative also will tap the wealth of knowledge in our elders, including the emerging wave of Baby Boomer retirees. A partnership of lifelong learning with volunteering promotes individual growth and a sense of purpose and meaningful contribution, whether the volunteer is working on developing new skills to meet an urgent community need or to improve personal employability.

Civic Engagement Kickoff: March 15, 2012

On March 15, 2012, the Ohio Department of Aging and its civic engagement partners hosted "Preparing Ohio's new 50+ for 21st Century Jobs," a statewide kick-off of a renewed civic engagement initiative. During the kickoff, attendees heard why the state has expanded its approach to civic engagement from leaders around the state, including employers, job seekers, nonprofits and education providers. Participants at the Downtown Columbus location also saw examples of successful programs at Ohio Solution Booths and talked to the local experts behind them. Attendees provided the Civic Engagement Council with guidance for their work.

Civic Engagement Kickoff Synopsis

Watch clips from the civic engagement kickoff.

Materials from the civic engagement kickoff:



Civic Engagement Council

Because the rubber meets the road at the local level, the department has formed a locally driven Civic Engagement Council. Council membership includes representatives of forward-thinking local organizations across Ohio. They have been called upon to support the Initiative in two key ways:

  • Define and document the current civic engagement situation in Ohio’s communities, including existing programs and services, funding resources, opportunities and barriers; and
  • Propose recommendations for ensuring successful implementation of Ohio’s Civic Engagement Initiative.

Aging & Higher Education Advisory Committee

The Ohio Department of Aging has partnered with the Board of Regents and Ohio Association for Gerontology and Education (OAGE) to form the Aging & Higher Education Advisory Committee to ensure the University System of Ohio is prepared for an aging population.

The Committee is working to address and focus on the following areas:

  • Creating a workforce for an aging society;
  • Helping to train and retrain older workers to remain or return to employment;
  • Providing opportunities for lifelong learning;
  • Creating partnerships between higher education and industry to better meet the need of an aging population;
  • Creating technology to deliver products to seniors to maximize independence; and
  • Creating technology to help Ohio’s older workers remain or return to the workforce.

The Aging and Higher Education Advisory Committee consists of individuals representing a range of organizations including universities, state agencies, the business community, foundations, advocacy organizations and professional associations.

Please contact us if you have ideas or suggestions for the Civic Engagement Council, Aging & Higher Education Advisory Committee or internship program, want to become involved or would like more information about the initiative.

Related Information

Employment & Training - Many older Ohioans are choosing to remain in or return to the workforce beyond retirement age. The Department of Aging and the aging network proudly supports older workers.

Volunteer Opportunities - Each year, older Ohioans give more than 350,000 hours of their time to help people of all ages. The Department of Aging, along with national, state and local partners, provide several unique opportunities for older Ohioans to volunteer.

Lifelong Learning - Studies have shown that mental stimulation is crucial to physical and psychological well-being. The aging network promotes several national, state and regional programs that help older Ohioans continue learning in unique and rewarding ways.