TCC Receives AARP Foundation BACK TO WORK 50+ Grant

FORT WORTH, Texas (March 5, 2014) Tarrant County College is the only Texas college or university to receive national funding from AARP Foundation to help older students overcome barriers hindering them from securing full-time employment.
Funding is available as the result of expansion of AARP Foundation’s 2013 BACK TO WORK 50+ program through a new collaboration with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and support of the Walmart Foundation.
Originally launched in 2013 as a demonstration project in Denver, Colo., 2013 BACK TO WORK 50+  is designed create local coordination of employment services, public benefits application assistance, financial capability and employer engagement to connect 50-plus job candidates to specific in-demand jobs in their communities.
Receiving this funding will allow TCC to make great strides in our efforts to connect this critical group to health care careers as certified nursing assistants, dietary managers and dental assistants,” said TCC Chancellor Erma Johnson Hadley.  “This population is on the rise, so its economic viability is vital to our region’s survival.”
During the next two years, AARP Foundation will invest more than $2 million to expand the program and reach thousands of older workers who need these important services.  As part of the BACK TO WORK 50+ expansion, the first 12 community colleges that make up the network have been selected. An additional three colleges will be added later in 2014.
To date, BACK TO WORK 50+ has provided more than 2,000 unemployed workers with information and resources to help them find meaningful employment.
“More than 3 million workers age 50-plus are looking for full-time employment. Mature workers bring assets to the workplace that employers need,” said AARP Foundation president Lisa Marsh Ryerson.  “The expansion of BACK TO WORK50 + will encourage a multigenerational workforce that brings value to employers and older Americans alike.”
“Tarrant County College is excited to expand the training and employment prospects of our older students through our selection as part of AARP Foundation’s BACK TO WORK 50+ grant. The scholarships made available through this grant will provide much needed opportunities for people age 50 and over wanting to come back to college and retrain for new careers so they could improve their job skills and get back to work,” said Larry Darlage, president of TCC Northeast Campus.
As part of the BACK TO WORK 50+ expansion, the participating community colleges will host local information sessions and a Coaching Program where job candidates aged 50 and older can learn how to update their personal marketing tools and networking strategies, target their job search on in-demand jobs, get job leads and find resources that can help them stay strong while they’re looking for their next full-time job. Community colleges are also uniquely positioned to provide access to training opportunities for jobseekers that need skills training to prepare for available jobs.
Other participating community colleges include: Bevill State Community College, Jasper, AL; Maricopa Corporate College, Phoenix, AZ: Pima Community College, Tucson, AZ; Florida State College at Jacksonville, Jacksonville, FL; Santa Fe College, Gainesville, FL; Elgin Community College, Elgin, IL; Moraine Valley Community College, Palo Hills, IL; Santa Fe Community College, Santa Fe, NM; Tri-County Technical College, Pendleton, SC; Kanawha Valley Community & Technical College, South Charleston, WV; and Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District in El Cajon, CA.
“Community colleges have always served a diverse student population, including adult learners looking to retrain for the workforce,” said AACC President and CEO Walter G. Bumphus. “We appreciate AARP Foundation’s interest in working with community colleges and recognizing that the colleges can help support older and unemployed workers in a variety of ways.”
The community colleges will focus specifically on the needs of low income, older adult women and provide an expanded level of career and support services.  The colleges will have access to a specifically designed version of the Virtual Career Network career exploration platform that was developed by AACC through a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.  Participants in the program will use this innovative web-based tool to explore and prepare for careers in high-growth fields.
The BACK TO WORK 50+ program is one of the programs funded by the Walmart Foundation as a part of the Global Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative, which will help 200,000 U.S. women from low-income households gain better employment opportunities through job training, education, career counseling and mentoring. For more information, visit
The important services provided by BACK TO WORK 50+ are available due in large part to the generous support of a $2.3 million grant from Walmart Foundation, which allows AARP Foundation to focus on increasing economic opportunity for older adult women by providing education, training and employment services that facilitate their entry into good jobs in their communities.
For those interested in this program, please call the AARP Foundation Call Center at 1-855-850-252.