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Retiree employment pilot program takes off

| 29 October 2003

Where do campus hiring managers turn now that the Temporary Assistance Program (TAP) has ended? The UC Berkeley Retirement Center hopes to provide a partial solution to that quandary with the Retiree Return to Work Pilot Program that they co-developed with the Office of Human Resources/Employment Services.

At the heart of the program is a website where retirees can post résumés and campus hiring managers can list short-term jobs. An initial grant of $15,000 from the UC Institute for Labor and Employment funded the endeavor, with the bulk of the monies going to the site’s design, production, and server costs. Of the 80 retirees who have expressed interest in the project and are registered on the site, half have already posted profiles and résumés.

What differentiates the retiree program’s website from the campus eRecruit site is that the jobs posted on the pilot site are all short-term, temporary, or project-based, and so offer the flexibility retirees appreciate. They also require knowledge of the campus or a particular set of campus-related skills, which many retirees have.

“Our site attempts to match retiree needs with campus needs in a new way,” says Retirement Center program manager Ronni Gravitz. “Retirees have long been filling a niche for these kinds of positions, but the website provides a mechanism to connect hiring managers and retirees wishing to come back to work.”

Eileen Laddarré, registrar at Boalt Hall School of Law, has hired two retirees to fill part-time, temporary positions. “Even if [the retirees] have not worked in your department,” she says, “they know the way Berkeley runs.”

Both Laddarré and Gravitz encourgage hiring managers to look at the directory of retirees on the site and to list appropriate positions there. “There are amazing people in our database,” says Graavitz. “Analysts, administrative assistants, even deans — the pool is pretty deep and wide.”

The pilot, funded through June 2003 by the grant, has been extended through December 31, 2003. The Retirement Center is currently exploring ways to continue funding the site into 2004. For information, visit thecenter.berkeley.edu/rwp.html or contact Gravitz at projects@uclink.berkeley.edu or 642-5461.

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