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Firms need to hire long-term jobless

KUDOS TO Globe reporter Megan Woolhouse for an informative article about the long-term unemployed older worker (“For those long out of work, prospects may only get worse,” Page A1, June 17). For years now we have heard from job seekers about how they are facing mounting obstacles to reemployment due to their age.

At Operation ABLE, we have seen a dramatic increase in people with excellent skills and work histories who tell the same story. Some we train for new careers, others we help with job searches and networking, but there is no real reason most of these folks should not be getting jobs. Yet companies complain of a skills gap, or that older workers cannot adapt.

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When researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston sent fake resumes to employers with job openings, the length of time candidates had been out of work mattered more than their job experience in determining who got called in for an interview.

Why is this? The Labor Department reported there are 3.8 million unfilled jobs in America. It’s time businesses start hiring the long-term unemployed based on merit and work history and not on unfounded perceptions of older workers.

Joan Cirillo

President and CEO,

Operation ABLE of
Greater Boston

Boston

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