Job fair seeks to employ senior populationThe senior citizen population is the fastest-growing age group in Frisco. As of the beginning of 2017, the senior population grew nearly 8 percent compared with last year, according to city data.

As some businesses—especially service industry companies—struggle to find workers in the Frisco area, employers
may start tapping into the growing senior citizen population for laborers.

The Senior Service Alliance is hosting its first senior job and volunteer fair Sept. 12. The free event will introduce Frisco’s elderly population to companies that are hiring and nonprofits looking for help.

The SSA is a committee of the Frisco Chamber of Commerce that seeks to educate and serve the senior community in Frisco. The job fair’s chairwoman, Flo Ricks, said the alliance seeks to help seniors with occupational needs as part of the alliance’s mission.

“More and more seniors are having to work past retirement age—what we see as retirement age—in order to supplement their income,” she said.

As of 2015 the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that the senior workforce—those age 55 and older— was the largest workforce population by a slight margin at 22.2 percent. That margin is expected to widen in the coming decades.

Seniors can fill in the gaps in the workforce when high school students are unavailable because of school or curfews, said Kathy Erickson, the chamber’s director of partner

Job fair seeks to employ senior population“The senior citizens have cars; they don’t have other obligations; they don’t have to worry about being in at a certain time at night; they’re only looking to supplement their income but not to make a lot of money, so they’re affordable;
most of them are available part-time; most of them don’t need a lot of benefits,” she said. “When you look at that joining the workforce, they kind of fill in a lot of little holes.”

Seniors also bring years of work experience to the table that younger professionals do not have, Ricks said.

“I think we forget about the mentorship that’s involved, the ability [for seniors] to mentor and to share that knowledge and experience,” she said.

According to the National Council on Aging, employers tend to rate older employees high on characteristics such as judgment, commitment to quality, attendance and punctuality.

Despite these qualities, the NCOA reports that many seniors are discouraged from looking for work because they believe employers will view them as too old or that they lack the necessary schooling and training.

“Sometimes they get distraught because they can’t find a job, and sometimes the only thing they can do is working at McDonald’s or something like that,” Erickson said.

Ricks said she is encouraged that all the exhibitor tables at the job and volunteer fair are sold out, indicating that businesses and nonprofits in the area are looking for help.

A range of exhibitors have signed up for the fair, including banks, the Frisco Public Library and Frisco ISD.

Senior Service Alliance Job and Volunteer Fair

Time: 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Sept. 12
Cost: Free
Location: Frisco Senior Center, 6670 Moore St.