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AARP Hosts Job Fair at Green Valley Ranch | News

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AARP Hosts Job Fair at Green Valley Ranch
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As Baby Boomers prepare to retire, the rest of the country is facing an expected labor shortage in the coming years. Here in Southern Nevada, that shortage is already being felt, especially in key areas like nursing, teaching, and government services.

Local employers are now teaming up with the AARP to entice older, experienced workers to consider a second career: more than a quarter million retirees make their homes in Las Vegas. 

As we discovered at one local job fair Wednesday -- many of these retirees are healthy, active and bored -- and more than willing to jump back into the workforce -- if presented with the right opportunity.

Former newspaperman Michael Clark says he could have retired comfortably over a decade ago -- but he just didn't want to.

"The idea of sitting at home managing an investment portfolio on the Internet sounds incredibly dull to me," he said.

So instead -- 59-year-old Clark, who has collected books for many years, launched a second career --- opening a used book store on East Tropicana.

Like a lot of aging Baby Boomers, Clark says retirement just isn't in his nature. "Our generation, and I mean the Baby Boomers, we're really competitive and we don't like to finish second. That's just how we grew up."

It's that high-energy attitude, strong work ethic, and experience that more than 50 employers were hoping to tap into at the Spring Job Fair 2007 held at Green Valley Ranch Station Wednesday. The event was co-sponsored by the AARP.

Sharmain McKleby of AFLAC Insurance said, "One of my new managers is 62, and she has more energy than my younger crowd."

And just like Las Vegas book store owner Michael Clark -- 40 percent of the members recently surveyed by AARP Nevada said they want to remain in the workforce beyond the traditional retirement age because they enjoy it -- the challenges, the stimulation, the socialization, and of course, the extra income isn't so bad either.

Surprisingly, this was the first job fair ever co-sponsored by AARP-Nevada. But organizers say it certainly won't be the last. Valley employers are quickly realizing this 50-plus workforce as it's being called -- may represent a big part of the solution to Nevada's labor shortage.

Email your comments to Reporter Alyson McCarthy.

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