Experience Works program

Medford, Ore., — A work opportunity program in the Rogue Valley is helping out hundreds of unemployed people over the age of 55.

Habitat for Humanity is just one of the many non profit programs affiliated with “Experience Works” to help seniors get back out in the work force.

Bonnie O’leary is training 20 hours a week as a receptionist for Habitat for Humanity in Medford, her goal is to get a full time job.

“I could use the extra money, who can’t, but I’m grateful for what I’ve got”

O’leary is on welfare and says she just couldn’t get by anymore.

“I didn’t have enough money to live off of, I’m on social security and I just don’t have enough so I decided it was time to get back out there.”

The program gives seniors, or people over the age of 55 opportunities to gain part time work experience so they can get full time jobs down the line.

O’leary says, “the program is 4 years so hopefully in that time you can get a full time job or a part time job leading to full time.”

Habitat for Humanity is just one of the non-profits that is affiliated with experience works and has been for about 5 years.

Executive Director of Habit for Humanity, Denis James says, “We’re actually the job training program through experience works and we have a set agenda in which participants can learn different skills from us, we give them on the job training and experience.”

O’leary has been in the program for 8 months and although she doesn’t have full time job yet…

“It’s helped me a lot, it’s gotten me out of the house and I’m learning more in the field that I’m trying to get back into.”

For more information on how you can get involved, go to www.experienceworks.org

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