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IBM Supports National Council on Aging with $500,000 to Address Digital Equity

IBM Supports National Council on Aging with $500,000 to Address Digital Equity

PR Newswire

ARLINGTON, Va., March 29, 2022

Initiative will empower older adults who face barriers to accessing in-demand jobs

ARLINGTON, Va., March 29, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Council on Aging (NCOA), the national voice for every person's right to age well, received a $500,000 grant from IBM to provide resources that will enable older adults to compete in the increasingly digital workforce.

(PRNewsfoto/National Council on Aging)
(PRNewsfoto/National Council on Aging)

"Aging with dignity means being able to work if you can," said Ramsey Alwin, NCOA President and CEO.

"Aging with dignity means being able to work if you can," said Ramsey Alwin, NCOA President and CEO. "We are grateful to IBM for partnering with us to help older adults engage in the growing digital economy. The whole society wins when everyone has the skills to participate."

Older workers and job seekers can face unique barriers compared to their younger counterparts, including:

  • 50% rate of involuntary separation from employment

  • Significantly lower salaries at reemployment

  • Challenges navigating digital job application portals due to limited digital literacy

  • Lack of digital skills training needed to remain competitive in the labor force

NCOA will start by examining the systemic barriers and employment needs of underserved populations, especially Black, Hispanic/Latino, LGBTQ, low-income, and older adults living in rural areas. These groups are at the heart of NCOA's Equity Promise, which directs the organization's focus to ensure everyone can age with dignity, regardless of their circumstances.

Most older adults need or want to work even in later years, but a lack of digital skills is one of the barriers to securing gainful employment. NCOA will develop resources to empower older adults to reskill and upskill for in-demand jobs that can lead to greater long-term financial security.

By the end of 2022, NCOA also will engage a diverse set of stakeholders to discuss potential policy solutions to address the barriers identified in the first phase of the work.

"Digital skills are necessary not just for getting a better job, but also for accessing benefits programs, using online tools to plan for retirement, and to stay connected to friends and family. One of the many lasting imprints of the pandemic is the recognition that digital skills and literacy are just as essential as the basics of reading and math," Alwin said.

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is the national voice for every person's right to age well. We believe that how we age should not be determined by gender, color, sexuality, income, or zip code. Working with thousands of national and local partners, we provide resources, tools, best practices, and advocacy to ensure every person can age with health and financial security. Founded in 1950, we are the oldest national organization focused on older adults. Learn more at www.ncoa.org and @NCOAging.

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SOURCE National Council on Aging