Today were highlighting a program with AARP. The foundation has a broad array of services to help older workers find more meaningful employment.
Eighty-four-year-old Opal Cheek is hard at work at the AARP offices in Little Rock catching up on computer work.
It's one of many skills she's developed in her short time here.
She explains, "We learn to deal with people, and actually I have learned a lot about people in need."
Opal has retired three different times, but couldn't stay away from life on the job. She started exploring her options and found the WorkSearch program.
It's a foundation geared to helping seniors start new careers or re-enter the workforce, like Opal.
And it's all free! After a screening interview, an enrollee is placed with a public agency or a non profit group.
Carolyn Drane explains, "We might place them at City Hall or the library something like that where they are essentially giving back to the community, while they are looking for a job."
Opal's non profit is here at AARP. She allowed to work 25 hours a week and is paid minimum wage. Once they've completed the program and have found a job in the private sector, there's a perk for the employer.
"We will even let them try them out for the first week or two, and we will pay their salary and their workman's compensation while they try them," explains Drane. "It's almost like they come with a money back guarantee you know?"
Opal though says she may decide to retire again. But if not, she'll pursue her next big dream of working with senior citizens in a nursing home. It's a job she feels prepared for because of the WorkSearch program.
The only requirements are that you must be 55 or older, low or limited income, and willing and able to work. The program is funded through a federal grant and is available in 27 other states.
The program is funded through federal grants and several counties in Arkansas are participating.
For additional information, call (501) 661-1098 or visit: www.aarp.org/foundation