by Bernie Weiss
Seniors Job Bank
Now in its 40th year, the Seniors Job Bank (SJB) is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven community association that connects people over 50 looking for work with businesses and households seeking workers. From its West Hartford headquarters, SJB serves the greater Hartford area.
Corporations, nonprofits, public agencies and homeowners call upon SJB to fill openings in a wide variety of job categories. SJB maintains a database of approximately 700 service providers: men and women over age 50, representing more than 150 distinct occupational and professional skills, blue and white collar.
While the service providers are at least 50, the clients for whom they work can be of any age.
Cindy Anderson, manager of Hall's Market in West Hartford, an intimate, old-timey grocery store where personal attention has kept the customers coming since 1935, has found two cashiers through the Seniors Job Bank. She noted the hiring process was “easier for me” because SJB's service providers are screened – interview and background check.
Ms. Anderson added that the candidates referred by the Seniors Job Bank have been willing and able to adopt the flexible work schedule required by her store's operation. “It's been great,” Ms. Anderson said.
An example of how the Seniors Job Bank serves households comes from Dorothy Paleologos, of Farmington. When on short notice she needed a companion caregiver for her mother, a call to SJB solved the problem.
From a prior professional connection with SJB, Ms. Paleologos knew it to be what she termed a “trustworthy organization.” “I was looking for immediate help that weekend, and possibly again in the future,” she said. SJB provided a “mature, experienced, well qualified” person. As Ms. Paleologos put it, “I don't know where else I could have found someone so quickly.”
Becoming an SJB service provider begins with a person’s describing the kind of work he or she can and wants to do... without being limited by previously held positions. While many service providers choose to continue practicing their accustomed vocations, others seize the opportunity to profit from knowledge and talents they didn’t (or couldn’t) apply during their regular careers.
After passing the required background check, the new service provider is added to SJB’s roster and is eligible to be referred as jobs in his or her specialty become available.
When a client – firm, government agency or household – with an open position calls, its request is matched with service providers qualified to handle the task. SJB then gives the client contact information for several appropriate service providers whom he or she may interview and consider. The client and service provider selected for the job negotiate the terms of the assignment, including its duties, expected results, and compensation.
There is no charge, to either service provider or client, when SJB makes a referral.
Some domestic clients are looking for help with one-time chores or home maintenance issues like having a stuck window fixed, getting yard work or cleaning done, arranging for repair of appliances, or obtaining aid with putting family documents and records in order.
Other clients need continuing help around the house or personal assistance, such as weekly lawn mowing, driving a patient to scheduled medical appointments, and periodically picking up the groceries.
With commercial concerns and other entities too, jobs can be one-shot or longer term. They may involve office administration, transportation, retail, industrial and a broad variety of other types of responsibilities.
To discuss becoming a client or a service provider, contact the Seniors Job Bank via its website, sjbct.org, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone, 860-521-3210.