The Impact of a Maturing Workforce Conference held on October 12 was a great success -- nearly 100 attendees for this first-time conference.  This event was co-sponsored by HRA.  Speakers including Evelyn Gooden, AARP Illinois State President, and Jeff Allen and Don Hay, from Towers Perrin, raised the audience's general awareness of the country's impending shortage of workers from the Baby Boomer generation and also gave ideas on how to combat this gap.

View PowerPoint Presentation (3.5 MB)

In a recent report from the Workforce Boards of Metropolitan Chicago, this year an average of 4.6 adults will turn 65 each minute and by 2025 an average of 8 adults will turn 65 each minute.  In Illinois the most vulnerable jobs will be teachers, nurses and machinists.  With the shorter supply of younger workers, Generation Y (those now aged 14-25) that will replace the Baby Boomers, the time is now to analyze our organizations' workforces to determine where we may be most at risk.

According to information shared by Towers Perrin at the conference, 68% of older workers (50+) don't plan to retire, although they may change industries and reduce hours to fit their needs.  The main reasons they want to continue to work are to stay mentally and physically active, as well as to be productive.  Older workers offer experience and historical organizational knowledge that their younger coworkers don't have.

Some of the ways identified that we can address the reduced workforce are to:

  • Determine how to best engage and retain both Boomers and Gen Y workers
  • Develop key strategies to attract new workers to our organizations
  • Offer flexible scheduling (i.e., part-time work, contracting, etc.)
  • Offer training to enhance skills needed
  • Create a succession plan
  • Provide mentoring opportunities

If you would like additional resources on this topic, please contact Chris Schukies, HRA Director for Workforce Readiness, at