Senior News: Older employees and untapped workforce strengths

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    By Cheryl Wilkinson
    PREVIEW Columnist

    We are an aging community where the average age of all county residents has risen to 50. And we are actively aging, with our older residents being well-represented in our workforce. 

    Yet age 50 — not coincidentally — is the age at which the number of women in poverty in Archuleta County skyrockets to twice that relative to men; tracking with wage disparity here, where men earn 1.33 times the amount as a woman in the same position. This disparity further impacts our economy, given that above age 55 there are twice as many women remaining in our workforce than men, rising to four times as many by the age of 60 (U.S. Census 2020).

    Yet, all these statistics are contrary to what we know about the value of older employees in the workplace.

    • Higher customer satisfaction scores are achieved by more mature workers. 

    • Older employees remain at their jobs three times longer than younger employees — with companies reaping gains from lower training and related costs (Changing the Narrative, 2020).

    • Age diversity widens a team’s skill sets, an undeniable advantage for any business or agency.

    Think about your own workforce and when you have open positions take advantage of the wealth of knowledge and stability that more mature candidates can bring to your organization. And, consider how to provide and maintain a living wage for your entire staff — a factor shown to improve employee retention and business success. Together, these factors can improve the resiliency of your organization — a win for your business and our community as a whole. 

    You can contact us or learn more about ASI at our website: http://www.psseniors.org/.

    Take-out meals continue at Senior Center

    In order to continue providing meals, the Pagosa Springs Senior Center is offering take-out hot meals and a salad with a drive-up option under the portico at the Ross Aragon Community Center. 

    These meals will be available Monday through Friday between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. There is a $4 suggested donation for lunch for those age 60 and better. If you need to have your meal delivered, please call 264-2167 to see if this option is available in your area. 

    The cost per meal for the public age 59 and under is $8.50. The meals include a salad, hot meal, drink and dessert or bread. 

    Please call 264-2167 to make a reservation for pickup. We are also continuing our Meals on Wheels program. 

    There will be no games, classes or presentations during this time. The staff will be available by phone. If you need to speak to a staff member, please call 264-2167.

    The Community
    Café menu

    Thursday, Jan. 7 — Cream of mushroom soup, asparagus, naan bread, milk, salad and French apple tart.

    Friday, Jan. 8 — Pork zuppa Toscana, zucchini sticks with panko, focaccia bread with butter, milk, salad and tiramisu.

    Monday, Jan. 11 — Clam chowder, buttered corn, cheddar biscuits, milk, salad and carrot cake.

    Tuesday, Jan. 12 — Beef braised short ribs, mashed cauliflower, roasted root veggies, milk, salad and red velvet cake.

    Wednesday, Jan. 13 — Eggplant Parmesan with pasta marinara, milk, salad and chocolate raspberry mousse cake.

    Thursday, Jan. 14 — Frittata, sweet potato ham hash, milk, salad and French toast casserole.