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Encore careers

Post-retirement is the prime time for baby boomers

From the time of the Clinton administration, Jim Scheibel, School of Business professor of practice and 2017 John Wesley Award winner, has been intrigued by opportunities for older adults to continue giving back to their communities. As director of VISTA and the Senior Corps, Scheibel noticed a growing interest in volunteer opportunities that would tap into the critical thinking skill sets and experience of older adults, which made him really rethink what a model of a program such as the Senior Corps could entail.

Fast forward a few years, and Encore, a national organization aimed toward engaging older adults, is created by a man with whom Scheibel studied. As Encore grew, Scheibel examined the different forms the organization took—especially when it came to university affiliations—and formed the Encore Fellowship program for Hamline.

“We have a strong nonprofit community and a lot of baby boomers,” Scheibel said. “A lot of people I know and meet have different careers but want to transition into a volunteer or paid position that works for the common good.” 

The fellowship program, set to sail during the 2017–2018 academic year, is designed for retirees or those thinking about retiring. The four-month-long program includes four weeks during which participants explore their skill sets and goals and gain a more in-depth understanding of the nonprofit terrain. That is followed by two months of a fellowship at a local nonprofit and one week of reflection and sharing among the group. Though participants do not have to be students or alumni of Hamline, Scheibel thought the affiliation with the university was fitting.

“If you think about the mission of Hamline—about making a difference in community, giving back, and contributing to the common good—and if you look at our core values, that’s what the encore career is all about,” Scheibel said. “It’s really the Wesleyan philosophy and spirit. I can just see John Wesley making the initial send-off address.”