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February 16, 2024

Gov. Wes Moore Discusses the Aging Workforce: 2023 Equity Summit 

Governor Wes Moore talking with Gary A. Officer at the 2023 Equity Summit
Governor Wes Moore was the keynote speaker for 2023’s Equity Summit.

Each year, the Center for Workforce Inclusion and CWI Labs gather hundreds of innovators and leaders for the Equity Summit, focusing solely on advancing older workers’ economic prospects and combating systemic biases.

For 2023’s event, the keynote speaker was Governor Wes Moore, the first Black governor in Maryland’s 246-year history and only the third African American governor in U.S. history.

During his talk with Gary A. Officer, President and CEO of the Center for Workforce Inclusion, Governor Moore discussed his cabinet’s efforts in engaging two marginalized communities: older workers and formerly incarcerated individuals.

Supporting an aging population requires targeted investment

CWI President Gary Officer cited key points about America’s aging workforce. According to the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, more than 25% of the workforce will be 55 or older by 2028. By 2030, the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that all baby boomers will be 66 or older.

Governor Moore noted that for many older workers, their work is their worth – not just financially but emotionally. Keeping them in gainful, meaningful employment benefits families, communities and local economies. In preparing for the future of work, supporting populations as they age requires targeted investments in the workforce training system in the most challenged communities.

Smiling older man in a workshop holding a power drill.

Upskilling formerly incarcerated individuals presents valuable opportunities

The conversation also touched on the need to invest in another marginalized community: formerly incarcerated individuals.

CWI President Gary Officer cited shocking statistics: returning citizens are unemployed at a rate of 37% and more than 50% are re-incarcerated within three years. And according to a Prison Policy report, of the more than 50,000 people released from federal prisons in 2010, 33% failed to find any employment over the four years following their release, and no more than 40% were employed at any given time.

For Governor Moore, fast-track investments in upskilling and education to formerly incarcerated ensures they are a benefit to our communities.

How businesses can engage older workers

If your business is ready to tap into the value of older workers, check out CWI Labs and WorkingNation’ release of “An Employer’s Guide to Engaging Older Workers,” included in our expanded “Overlooked and Sidelined” e-Magazine. The guide provides a checklist for employers that are aiming to become more age friendly.

Please join us on February 27th as well, when Harold T. Fisher, host of the Daily Drum, sits down with Congressman Glenn Ivey (D-MD-04) to discuss equitable economic opportunity for older workers. Register today for this virtual event.

Hear more from Governor Moore

Watch the full discussion below and access all Equity Summit talks below.

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