Older Workers

CAEL identifies opportunities for older adults to build on their skills and experience to secure meaningful work and attain economic security.

Older workers can be among the workforce’s most experienced, skillful and reliable contributors. As they approach the traditional retirement age, older adults may look for ways to continue working; some for financial need and others to remain engaged and to continue to contribute to the betterment of society. Many older adults may seek to work and contribute in new areas.

The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) helps businesses, higher education, and the public workforce system identify and prepare older workers for new job opportunities that meet their needs and leverage the skills and experience they have gained from both their professional and personal lives.

CAEL helps older workers identify what they need to prepare for this new stage of their work life and helps organizations create roles that both address emerging needs and also offer the flexibility that many seek.


Read stories about programs CAEL has designed and implemented for older workers.

Tapping Mature Talent


An aging workforce requires new services and support systems.


A three-year initiative funded by the US Department of Labor and Atlantic Philanthropies, TMT was designed to test new collaborative models for serving mature workers who were unemployed but needed to find a job. Each site developed and implemented innovative models for serving mature workers and engaging local employers, the public workforce system, and higher education where appropriate. CAEL provided technical assistance and research and facilitated opportunities for cross-site learning.

By the conclusion of the project, in December 2012, more than half of the 4,000 participants were employed, and many more were still enrolled in training that could lead to new employment opportunities. CAEL also produced policy recommendations at the state and national levels based on the sites’ experiences.

"It’s an easy program to talk about. It has been a lifesaver for me and my older workers are fabulous people!"- Michelle Foley, HR Manager, Donaldson Company

Stories of People Involved in the Aging Worker Initiative



  • Atlantic Philanthropies
    Atlantic Philanthropies

    The Atlantic Philanthropies are dedicated to bringing about lasting changes in the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people.

  • US Department of Labor
    US Department of Labor

    The United States Department of Labor fosters, promotes, and develops the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improves working conditions; advances opportunities for profitable employment; and assures work-related benefits and rights.

Green Jobs for Older Workers


Identify jobs in the green economy that are appropriate for older workers and that build on their
prior skills


Documented job families in three sub sectors of the green economy which are appropriate for older adults with varied skills and experience

Created a list of criteria and database of jobs in the green economy that can be filled by older workers


  • Civic Ventures
    Civic Ventures

    Civic Ventures is a think tank on boomers, work and social purpose. Through an inventive program portfolio, original research, strategic alliances and the power of people’s life stories, Civic Ventures demonstrates the value of experience in solving serious social problems – from education to the environment, health care to homelessness.

  • MetLife Foundation
    MetLife Foundation

    MetLife Foundation was created in 1976 by MetLife to continue its longstanding tradition of contributions and community involvement. The goal is to empower people to lead healthy, productive lives and strengthen communities. Underlying the Foundation's programs is a focus on education at all ages and a commitment to increasing access and opportunity.