SPRINGFIELD — Clark State Community College was recently chosen to join the Plus 50 Encore Completion Program, a national effort to train 10,000 baby boomers for new jobs in health care, education and social services. Clark State received $15,000 to support 40 students over two years. The program is sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).
The college will assist adults age 50 and over in completing degrees or certificates in high-demand occupations that give back to the community. With many adults age 50 and over out of work or seeking to transition to a new career, the program offers skill updates and career makeovers for baby boomers.
Clark State Community College will prepare older adults for careers in medical office administration and medical assisting.
“The Plus 50 grant will enhance Clark State’s ability to attract baby boomers who are looking to enter the healthcare job market,” said Dr. Jo Alice Blondin, president, Clark State Community College. “The U.S. Department of Labor projects the demand for medical assistants to increase by 31 percent through 2020. Graduates of the program will have an array of employment options.”
Since 2008, AACC and its network of Plus 50 Initiative colleges have supported baby boomers coming to college and helped them prepare for new careers. It’s a program that works. Eighty-nine percent of students participating in AACC’s Plus 50 Initiative told an independent evaluator that college workforce training helped them acquire new job skills, and 72 percent attributed landing a job to such training.