Seniors Striving In The Workplace

 Victoria Fregoso reports, vfregoso@k2tv.com

 Fremont County organizations and employers are being recognized for their involvement in the senior citizen community.




 For nearly fifty years the organization, "Experience Works", has trained seniors to find jobs in their community.
This past year, they reached out to over 300 seniors in Wyoming alone.

"Everybody deserves the right to work. Everybody has the need for income and a good life," said Jean Bennett, State Director for Experience Works. "We need to employ older workers as well as younger workers."

Every year, the organization recognizes an agency, an employer and a participant that represents the senior working population.
This year's award winners are the Riverton Senior Citizen Center, Barbara Barney of Fort Washakie and the Northern Arapahoe Immersion School.
The school hires elders to teach young children the Northern Arapahoe Language. 

"The elders that we've had in there teaching the language and they're also learning what it's like to be a teacher," said Gail Ridgely, the principal of the Northern Arapaho Immersion School. "They're picking up a lot of good techniques."

It is expected that over the next 5 to 10 years, the state of Wyoming will have the largest senior citizen population in the nation. And with that comes the growing demand for jobs for seniors and the job skills that only seniors can bring to the table.

"They can teach the younger people what it means to go to work everyday, have that really good work ethic. To bring that sense of accomplishment and the history of working to the workplace," Bennett said.

Even the Northern Arapaho Immersion School can speak to the contributions elders make to the environment.

"They are very experienced, they're wise, have a lot of sensitivity, they're humble. And it's a tremendous feeling to know you have their support."