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 Thirty-Eight Community Colleges Join Project to Train 10,000 Older Workers For New Jobs 



100 colleges help baby boomers earn certificates or degrees in healthcare, education or social service

WASHINGTON, DC—Thirty-eight additional community colleges have been chosen to join the Plus 50 Encore Completion Program offered by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). Their selection brings the number of colleges working with the program to 100. The program is working to train 10,000 baby boomers over the next two years for new jobs in health care, education and social services, while helping them complete certificates or degrees.

Participating colleges will offer workforce training programs that prepare older adults for new careers. Plus 50 adults will be able to train for careers as medical transcriptionists, pharmacy technicians, respiratory therapists, certified nursing assistants, medical assistants, daycare workers, child development associates, substitute teachers, clinical laboratory assistants and other jobs.

The 38 colleges join 64 colleges previously selected. The 38 newly-selected colleges are: Albany Technical College (Albany, Ga.), Brookdale Community College (Lincroft, N.J.), Brunswick Community College (Supply, N.C.), Cape Fear Community College (Wilmington, N.C.), Capital Community College (Hartford, Conn.), Central Arizona College (Coolidge, Ariz.), Clark State Community College (Springfield, Ohio), Community College of DuPage (Glen Ellyn, Ill.), Davidson County Community College (Lexington, N.C.), Delta College (University Center, Mich.), Delaware Technical Community College (Georgetown, Del.), Eastern Iowa Community College District (Davenport, Iowa), Edgecombe Community College (Tarboro, N.C.), El Camino Community College District (Torrance, Calif.), Gateway Community and Technical College (Edgewood, Ky.), Grays Harbor College (Aberdeen, Wash.), Greenfield Community College (Greenfield, Mass.), Green River Community College (Auburn, Wash.), Henderson Community College (Henderson, Ky.), Highland Community College (Highland, Kan.),  J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College (Huntsville, Ala.), Jackson State Community College (Jackson, Tenn.), Jefferson Community and Technical College (Louisville, Ky.), Kingsborough Community College (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Madisonville Community College (Madisonville, Ky.), Milwaukee Area Technical College (Milwaukee, Wis.), Montcalm Community College (Sidney, Mich.), North Central Michigan College (Petoskey, Mich.),  Oakton Community College (Des Plaines, Ill.), Panola College (Carthage, Texas), Piedmont Community College (Roxboro, N.C.), Piedmont Technical College (Greenwood, S.C.), Phoenix College (Phoenix, Ariz.), Roanoke-Chowan Community College (Ahoskie, N.C.), South Arkansas Community College (El Dorado, Ark.), South Texas College (McAllen, Texas), Tallahassee Community College (Tallahassee, Fla.), and Tulsa Community College (Tulsa, Okla.)

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.

“Baby boomers who are out of work or want to transition into new career fields need to update their skills. Community colleges are affordable and working to help baby boomers, even if they’ve never stepped on a college campus before,” said Mary Sue Vickers, director for the Plus 50 Initiative at AACC.

Vickers added that many of the plus 50 adults who participate in the program also find great meaning and purpose in their work after they get hired. “Jobs in health care, education and social services give baby boomers a way to give back to society, so plus 50 adults find these careers to be particularly rewarding,” said Vickers.

In addition to providing grant funds that augment college workforce training programs, participating colleges gain access to toolkits and extensive marketing resources tailored to reach baby boomers. They also benefit from the advice and support of staff at other community colleges that have successfully implemented programs for older learners and understand the unique needs of the plus 50 student population.

The Plus 50 Encore Completion Program is funded with a $3.2-million grant to AACC provided by Deerbrook Charitable Trust. The Plus 50 Encore Completion program supports AACC’s work to increase the number of students who finish degrees, certificates, and other credentials.  In April 2010, AACC committed alongside other higher education organizations to promote the development and implementation of policies, practices and institutional cultures that will produce 50 percent more students with high quality degrees and certificates by 2020.

For more information about the Plus 50 Initiative at AACC, see


Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the American Association of Community Colleges is the leading advocacy organization representing more than to 1,100 community, junior and technical colleges nationwide. Community colleges are the largest and fastest growing sector of higher education, enrolling 13.4 million credit and non-credit students each year. Learn more at

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