Madison jobs club focuses on middle-aged applicants

Madison jobs club focuses on middle-aged applicants
(Source: WAFF)

MADISON, AL (WAFF) - During the past several months, so many major companies have chosen the Tennessee Valley as their new home, bringing thousands of jobs to north Alabama.

WAFF 48 News has highlighted how this job influx will affect different communities like those owning/working for small businesses.


One special club in Madison is working to make sure middle-aged applicants have a seat at the table, and they say the answer is in numbers.

"It's kind of like if you're going shopping with your girlfriends and you want a black sweater size large and you get to the department and start looking. Well, if you're by yourself you have one set of eyes. You have a girlfriend here, you have two. It increases your opportunity of finding a good match, and that's what this place is here," devoted member Dr. Sheila Jones said.

They've formed a small community of worker bees, holding each other accountable to finding jobs.

"One of the things we do here is try to teach people how to go about getting a job in 2018. It's a little different than it was in 2000," Maureen Chemsak, one of the volunteer leaders, said.

The Labor Department states more people are working later in life, which proves the necessity for this group to be geared up and ready to go. They come together each week, building a community to prepare for the influx of jobs moving south in the next couple of years.

"What holds people back at a particular age is that people need to continue educating themselves. They need to continue going to school, keeping up with their computer skills, knowing how to present themselves," Chemsak said.

She went on to talk of several programs offered locally at Calhoun Community College and the University of Alabama in Huntsville that provide programs for those of a particular age.

"Older people, I think, and people are working longer and longer, they have a lot of skill sets," Jones added.

They educate. They groom. They guide each other. The recipe to success isn't always crystal clear, but they believe through education and networking, you can be just as competitive.

"People are finding support here, and they don't feel alone and they feel welcomed. So that's the gift. And really and truly, if it weren't for all of the people that step up and help, it wouldn't survive," Chemsak said.

They meet every Tuesday at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church on Hughes Road from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.

It's not just limited to those 50-plus. They welcome any and everyone whether you're looking for a job or just wanting to help out.

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