Boomers Stay Competitive by Hitting the Books

Up in the mornin' and out to school. The teacher is teachin' the Golden Rule. Chuck Berry, School Days.

Going back to school has become popular for Boomers. Tough economic times have led to unemployment and a need to extend their working lives.

In Ohio, hard hit by the industrial downturn and low housing prices, Boomers are in no position to retire. To make matters worse, they need to upgrade skills to stay competitive in the new work world.

Corey Holliday, director of admissions at Clark State Community College in Springfield, Ohio told the Springfield News-Sun: “One of the things we started doing was catering to that population 50 and over. Today, the baby boomers are the biggest growth area for our campuses across the state.”

Many of the new Boomer students are laid off recession factory and trade workers when their companies downsized or shut down.

John Halley, 59, from Morrow, Ohio, attended Sinclair Community College in Dayton, told the media source: “I’ve been out of school for 40 years. To go back and take classes with young kids, it was rough. But it was either that or not being able to get a job with pay that was worth it.”

Halley has cut back on his class schedule after landing a high-tech manufacturing job in Mason, a Cincinnati suburb.

“I’ve been lucky enough to already find a job because of Sinclair,” he said. “Just being able to put that on my resume helped me get a job, even though I haven’t graduated.

Education and retraining have helped many Ohio Boomers face retirement living possibilities they cannot afford.