MiMfg Magazine September 2017 - Page 8

8 MiMfg Magazine September 2017 Key Conversations A Q & Interview with AARP’s Paula Dean Cunningham Q: What is AARP? Q: Manufacturers are very focused on attracting talent they can train. Why should they broaden their search for talent to include experienced workers who may still retire in the next 5-10 years? Cunningham: We are a membership organization of more than 1.4 million members. We work to lead positive change and deliver value to all people 50+. Q: And what is the Experience Cunningham: Many experienced for Hire program? workers have the expertise required and will need little training. Those who do need training offer many advantages to employers ranging from reliability to problem-solving abilities. Cunningham: Experience for Hire is an AARP Michigan program that helps match Michigan businesses with workers 50 and older who are looking for full or part-time work and have skill sets that are in demand. Employers in Michigan report about 100,000 job openings, many requiring skills that older adults can provide. “ Experienced workers can provide valuable mentoring for younger employees and are an important source of life experience and institutional knowledge. ” Q: How is the Experience for Hire program useful for the manufacturing industry? Cunningham: MMA has identified a shortage of talent as their number one priority and as the greatest stumbling block for economic growth. AARP’s Experience for Hire program is a unique way for employers to connect with a screened pool of applicants who bring value to employers, require little job training, can work full or part time and often are not seeking benefits beyond income. Q: How is a multigenerational workforce Paula D. Cunningham, State Director, AARP Michigan 1 1 Served as CEO of Capitol National Bank. She was the only African American woman in the country to be president of a majority- owned bank. 1 1 Was the first woman to be president of Lansing Community College and the main building on campus was named the Paula D. Cunningham Administration Building in 2006. This is the only building named after a woman in downtown Lansing. 1 1 Serves on numerous boards including Davenport University and McLaren Health Systems – Lansing, and she was the first African American female to Chair the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce Board. Experience for Hire helps connect manufacturers with skilled labor that, in many cases, has left the workforce but would welcome the opportunity to return. effective in a manufacturin