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Helping Jobless Execs Find a 'Paycheck with Purpose'

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AARP Connecticut is once again providing financial support to help qualified individuals over age 50 participate in Encore! Hartford - an intensive four-month workforce development program that assists unemployed, underemployed or dislocated seasoned Connecticut corporate professionals to transition their skills and experience into managerial and professional jobs in the nonprofit sector.

Encore! is designed and implemented by the University of Connecticut Nonprofit Leadership Program in strong partnership with AARP Connecticut, Leadership Greater Hartford, Capital Workforce Partners, CTWorks/American Job Center, CT Association of Nonprofits, United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut and Jewish Family Services.  AARP support will help provide financial assistance to unemployed applicants age 50 and over who are accepted into the program, with a priority on those from the greater Bridgeport area and Fairfield County.

Now accepting applications for its sixth class of fellows, Encore! has an impressive track record of success, with 88% of participants finding employment (72% full-time), with three out of four of those employed landing in the nonprofit sector.

“Finding a job in today’s economy is challenging, especially for those over age 50. We want to help experienced workers find more than just a job, but a new career that allows them to fulfill their personal goals and aspirations, and use their experience and background to make a difference in the lives of others,” said Nora Duncan, AARP Connecticut state director.

While the unemployment rate for older workers is less than their younger counterparts, those over age 50 who find themselves unemployed tend to be out of work for longer periods of time – many of them for more than a year. Facing age discrimination and other challenges, many of these experienced workers are also seeking to make a career change that allows them to find more purpose in their work or pursue a personal passion.

Just ask Roy Mainelli (class of 2013), a former aerospace executive who is now Economic Security Manager for Journey Home, Inc., a nonprofit that works to end chronic homelessness in the greater Hartford region.  Says, Mainelli, “Encore!Hartford’s guidance helped me navigate a successful transition from a large corporation to a small, nonprofit organization. Its strong staff and knowledgeable instructors provided real world experience and articulated how our previous work experience was valuable to the nonprofit sector. This journey was enriched by the camaraderie of my talented, diverse and extremely supportive classmates who made every day enjoyable.”

The program runs from March 3, 2015 - June 19, 2015 and offers:

  • Deep Immersion in the Nonprofit Sector:  All components of the program are conducted in a diverse selection of CT nonprofit organizations.
  • Education:  Sixty-four hours of managerial and professional skill-set transition education. Education component takes place at a number of Hartford-area nonprofits.
  • Resume Restructuring and Networking:  Creation of resumes that reflect transitional skills and experience applicable to the nonprofit sector, and networking opportunities to meet with sector leaders and learn more about the work of their organizations.
  • Encore Fellowship:  A two-month, 30-hour per week fellowship with a CT nonprofit organization providing real world experience and networking opportunities. Fairfield County placements available.


Applications are being accepted November 19, 2014 through January 16, 2015.  Acceptance decisions will be made beginning in early February 2015. The full program fee is $2950.

Find more program and application information about Encore! Hartford online or contact Linda Friedman, Program Director, UCONN Nonprofit Leadership Program at: or call 860-570-9282.

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