Have you ever thought, “Why am I struggling with this challenge alone? Someone must have faced and tackled it before? How do I find the people who might have answers and can help me?”
Emily Merritt, the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities’ director of intergenerational initiatives, shares two potential answers to this question—answers that happen to overlap daily in her world: Older adult talent and the myAlliance collaboration portal.
Launching one year ago, the Alliance brought together a cohort of 10 member organizations from around the country with the specific goal of testing and learning from human talent models that intentionally leverage people age 50-plus in their organizations. This initiative, Second Acts for Strong Communities, acknowledges the massive amount of experience present in the 50-plus demographic pool, and aims to recruit these individuals into workforces and community-based programs.
The long-term strategy is to raise up intergenerational success stories and best practices, motivating the Alliance network to fully realize the opportunity these individuals present to their organizations. Second act talents are highly experienced, make committed members of the team, and often have expertise that helps organizations build capacity while also making excellent supports for the youth and families we serve.
The Alliance cohort, consisting of both site staff and “encore fellows” (individuals 50-plus in high-impact, part-time, stipended roles), not only connects to share and learn from one another on a quarterly basis via conference call/webinar, but also leverages the opportunity to connect regularly on myAlliance to trade knowledge and experience. It has created a safe space for members to ask for help or out-of-the-box ideas.
The cohort utilizes myAlliance further to regularly shares sample documents and templates including job descriptions, onboarding and training plans, and engagement strategies in addition to current events, articles, and videos relating to the value of intergenerational models, the challenges of ageism, and success stories where experienced adults are sharing their expertise and skills.
When everyone in the field is strapped for time, it’s critical readily available resources are utilized, including experienced workers and the variety of opportunities myAlliance provides—libraries, discussions, and resources.
If you are interested in joining the conversation around intentionally tapping older adult talent or integrating intergenerational models into your organization, join the webinar Monday, Sept. 25 from 12:30-1 p.m. CT.
Contact Emily Merritt to stay in touch with the cohort’s progress as emerging learnings and best practices are identified.