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Column: Bringing Job Search Assistance

Valentine's Day was very special this year at the Old Presbyterian Meeting House (OPMH) in Alexandria. The church hosted the latest event in Senior Services of Alexandria' Speaker Series titled, "Staying Connected: Employment and Volunteer Opportunities for Seniors in Alexandria.” Over 80 attendees learned about the wealth of volunteer, employment, and mentoring options available to seniors in the City who want to stay actively engaged in the community, as well as share their wisdom, experience, and talents.

The audience also heard an exciting announcement from the sponsor of the Senior Speaker Series, Senior Services of Alexandria (SSA). Barbara Anderson, SSA's Board President, told the packed room about a new partnership between SSA and Annandale-based nonprofit Senior Employment Resources (SER) that expands employment search services for Alexandria's senior job seekers. "Starting today, SER advisors will be available every Tuesday afternoon for initial counseling appointments at SSA's office at 700 Princess Street in Old Town. Since 1983, SER has provided senior (50+) job seekers with employment counseling and assistance, as well as training programs. This partnership is a perfect example of how service organizations can collaborate and build on their strengths for the benefit of our clients."

SER Director of Operations Woody Prothero, also a member of the speaker's panel, shared Barbara's enthusiasm for the "match" between the two organizations and emphasized the convenience it brings to Alexandria residents who are looking for help with resumes, interview skills, and further training.

In addition to the announcement about this new relationship, the audience heard presentations about AARP's Workforce Program, the National Council on Aging's Senior Community Service Employment Program, and just a few of the many volunteer organizations that make connections for seniors who want to make a difference in our City. Speakers from Volunteer Alexandria, Alexandria's Mentoring Partnership, Alexandria Electoral Board, Alexandria Tutoring Consortium, and At Home in Alexandria! all shared excellent descriptions of their programs.

In the end, lots of important information and a few Valentine's Day treats were enjoyed by all who attended. If you are interested in attending our next event in the SSA Speaker Series, it will be on March 7, at INOVA Alexandria Hospital, and is jointly sponsored by INOVA and SSA in celebration of National Nutrition Month. Contact SSA at 703 836 4414, ext 10 and resourcecenter@seniorservicesalex.org for more information, or visit us online at www.SeniorServicesAlex.org.

By Mary Lee Anderson

Senior Resource Center Director