These workers in their 50s and early 60s are struggling to find an employer that will give them a chance. Blame the economy, or is age discrimination at play?
I worked at a printing company since high school and worked my way up to department manager over the years.
But when the company was bought out and my plant closed, I was laid off.
I couldn't get a job for several months, so I drew unemployment benefits and severance pay. Then my mother-in-law, who works for a school district, helped me find a maintenance position.
It has turned into a full-time job, but the pay is about a quarter of what I used to earn. I was making over $100,000 before. Now I'm at about $28,000 a year.
I once managed 450 employees, conducted departmental meetings and monitored profit and loss statements. I hired and trained new employees and oversaw the installation of new equipment.
I don't have a degree in business management, but I have 30 years experience in it.
I truly believe that not having a degree has been a major roadblock for me. Also, my age is starting to play a role. Employers want 25-year-olds with college degrees, even if they have little to no experience.
I'm not an arrogant person. I just try to do right. I do my job, and I know that I would be very profitable in managing a plant, if only someone would just give me an opportunity to prove myself.