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SAGEWorks: A National Employment Support Program for LGBT Workers 40+

November 2013 | Michele D'Amato

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"Research shows that people have difficulties finding jobs or securing promotions as they age, even as early as age 40."

SAGEWorks lets LGBT people age 40 and older know they are not alone in recognizing that gaining and keeping a competitive edge in employment can be challenging. 

Given the need for workforce supports for LGBT older adults age 40 and over, Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders (SAGE) launched the SAGEWorks program in 2010. 

SAGEWorks is a national employment support program for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people age 40 and older that expands participants’ job hunting skills and career options, and connects employers to diverse high-caliber candidates.  Recognizing the importance of remaining employed and fulfilled in today’s competitive job market, SAGEWorks provides hands on workshops, technology training and personal coaching at various sites around the country. 

Research shows that people have difficulties finding jobs or securing promotions as they age, even as early as age 40 – employers prefer younger workers who they assume to be more efficient, though research shows a different story.  For LGBT people, this job security is complicated by the biases of discrimination, and the lack of legal protections in the workplace.

SAGEWorks offers a place where LGBT older people can find a peer network that can help them navigate today’s tough employment terrain, as well as a space where they can freely share job and career aspirations as LGBT people.  We believe employers and business know the value of diversity and inclusion, and many are committed to making sure that their workforce is inclusive of older people and LGBT people.   SAGEWorks connects employers to high-quality candidates that meet these criteria. 

SAGEWorks is making a real difference in the lives of LGBT adults, and the word is spreading.  To date, more than 1,000 individuals affected by job loss have taken advantage of the SAGEWorks program. One of our participants wrote to the SAGEWorks Program Manager to thank her saying, “Tomorrow I start working at my new job as a 'floor plan artist' - I generate floor plans for buildings and apartments. I can't thank you and the staff at SAGE Works enough for getting me out of my funk and helping me to see myself as a productive working person again.  The confidence I acquired at SAGE and the feedback on resumes and job searching helped me get through the interviewing process”

SAGEWorks is a National Program and exists at the following SAGE sites:

  • SAGE at The SAGE Center (New York City)
  • SAGE at the Center on Halsted (Chicago)
  • SAGE of the Rockies (Denver)
  • SAGE at the William Way Center (Philadelphia)
  • SAGE at the LGBT Community Center of the Desert (Palm Springs, CA)
  • SAGE of South Florida at the Pride Center at Equality Park

For more information, visit us on the web at http://sageusa.org/sageworks.  SAGEWorks is made possible through the generous support of the Walmart Foundation.

Michele D'Amato is the Program Manager of SAGEWorks at SAGE. SAGEWorks, a national employment support program for LGBT people 40+, has been providing hands-on workshops, technology training and job hunting skills in New York City and in five affiliates across the country since June 2010. Over 1,000 LGBT older adults have participated in SAGEWorks programming and 170 participants have been placed in jobs. Michele oversees the day-to-day implementation of the program and serves as the primary liaison for participating affiliates as well as community, business and educational partners.

 

© 2011-2017 Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint these articles, or post them online, please e-mail us.

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