2007.06.08: June 8, 2007: Headlines: Boomers: Older Volunteers: Recruitment: Philadelphia Inquirer: Peace Corps wants older recruits

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Library: Peace Corps: Older Volunteers : Peace Corps: Older Volunteers: Newest Stories: 2007.06.08: June 8, 2007: Headlines: Boomers: Older Volunteers: Recruitment: Philadelphia Inquirer: Peace Corps wants older recruits

By Admin1 (admin) (ppp-70-245-108-7.dsl.okcyok.swbell.net - on Saturday, September 22, 2007 - 11:21 am: Edit Post

Peace Corps wants older recruits

Peace Corps wants older recruits

The older workers come with advantages: experience, advanced skills and maturity. But the Peace Corps faces challenges with this workforce, including coping with potential health problems and more complicated personal finances and family lives. Even so, if baby boomers are ready to retire, the Peace Corps is ready to hire, said its director, Ronald Tschetter. "They have good retirement benefits, and they are healthy. They are empty nesters," he said. "Guess what. They need something to do. "I can't tell you how many times I've been told, 'I don't want to go to the beach, drink Mai Tais, and put my toes in the sand. I want to serve.' "

Peace Corps wants older recruits

Peace Corps wants older recruits

By Jane M. Von Bergen
Inquirer Staff Writer

Caption: Peace Corps volunteer Normand Tremblay (right), 55, hands in paperwork at a training session at the Sheraton, West Philadelphia.. Photo: ERIC MENCHER / Inquirer Staff Photographer

In the last few months, Normand Tremblay, 55, quit his job as a stockbroker, sold his house in Nashua, N.H., kissed his grown children goodbye, and, on Tuesday afternoon, paid his last utility bill.

Today, he will fly out of Philadelphia International Airport to his new life as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon, Africa.

Tremblay is part of a trend at the Peace Corps. Within the next two years, one of America's most venerable service organizations wants 15 percent of its new recruits to be like Tremblay - older than 50. Now, baby boomers and their older cohorts make up about 5 percent.

The older workers come with advantages: experience, advanced skills and maturity. But the Peace Corps faces challenges with this workforce, including coping with potential health problems and more complicated personal finances and family lives.

Even so, if baby boomers are ready to retire, the Peace Corps is ready to hire, said its director, Ronald Tschetter.

"They have good retirement benefits, and they are healthy. They are empty nesters," he said. "Guess what. They need something to do.

"I can't tell you how many times I've been told, 'I don't want to go to the beach, drink Mai Tais, and put my toes in the sand. I want to serve.' "

In other countries, he said, "their age and senior status bring a lot of respect."

It is not a matter of necessity, Tschetter said. The Peace Corps gets plenty of applicants, turning away two out of three who try to sign up. Also, the Peace Corps' portfolio has risen among its traditional hiring base of recent college graduates.

Among all U.S. college students, the Peace Corps ranks fifth among potential employers, behind first-place Google Inc., Apple Inc., the Walt Disney Co., and the U.S. State Department, according to a recent survey by Universum Communications Sweden AB.

The Peace Corps, Tschetter said, will not abandon its mainstay campus recruitment. But, to attract the older cohort, creativity counts.

For example, the Peace Corps turned to a professional group, the Water Environment Federation, for expert recruits in water quality.

The boomers are responding. In May, Tschetter said, a record 300 showed up at a Seattle information session.

Now, Tschetter said, the Peace Corps needs to improve its handling of these older recruits.

A typical Peace Corps volunteer (median age 29) can get the hang of a new language in three months of intensive training.

"The older people get intimidated," Tschetter said. "We have to reengineer the language training, and basically slow it down."

The Peace Corps also requires extensive health screening and will typically place older volunteers nearer to medical care.

One surprising challenge? Older recruits have assets - investments and homes that need to be managed during the recruit's required 27 months of service. Older recruits also worry about siblings or elderly parents becoming ill.

Tschetter said the older volunteers were attracted by a sense of adventure and mission, and a chance to apply their skills creatively in new settings. Imagine a longtime teacher in a classroom with no books or even windows. "They are challenged beyond belief," Tschetter said.

That is what Tremblay was looking for when he applied online several months ago, almost on a whim.

Divorced, he had been a single parent of five children, the youngest now 25.

Tremblay spent long days working as a stockbroker and financial adviser. "I was sick of my job," he said. "I basically needed a break from the rat race."

A daughter half-jokingly suggested the Peace Corps.

"I started thinking. I have a blank check. I have no romantic attachments. I sold the house, I quit my job, I paid off all my debts," he said. "This gives me a chance to take a little break from life while I'm not too sickly to do it."

Selling his home of 22 years made him sad. But "it was time to move on. I could feel that," he said.

On Wednesday, Tremblay arrived in Philadelphia for a two-day Peace Corps gathering of volunteers heading to Peru and Cameroon. He will work in business development and microfinance.

Instead of his stockbroker salary, he will earn a small stipend tied to Cameroon's prevailing wages. His medical needs will be covered, and he will be given a place to live. "I think I get a bicycle," Tremblay added.

In four groups totaling 137 recruits who met in Philadelphia this week, there are eight over age 50. The oldest is 74, assigned to Moldova.

"I feel two extreme emotions," Tremblay said. "Exhilaration and excitement, and fear and panic."

Links to Related Topics (Tags):

Headlines: June, 2007; Baby Boomers; Older Volunteers; Recruitment

When this story was posted in September 2007, this was on the front page of PCOL:

Contact PCOLBulletin BoardRegisterSearch PCOLWhat's New?

Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers RSS Feed
Senator Dodd's Peace Corps Hearings Date: July 25 2007 No: 1178 Senator Dodd's Peace Corps Hearings
Read PCOL's executive summary of Senator Chris Dodd's hearings on July 25 on the Peace Corps Volunteer Empowerment Act and why Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter does not believe the bill would contribute to an improved Peace Corps while four other RPCV witnesses do. Highlights of the hearings included Dodd's questioning of Tschetter on political meetings at Peace Corps Headquarters and the Inspector General's testimony on the re-opening of the Walter Poirier III investigation.

Peace Corps News Peace Corps Library Peace corps History RPCV Directory Sign Up

What is the greatest threat facing us now?  Date: September 12 2007 No: 1195 What is the greatest threat facing us now?
"People will say it's terrorism. But are there any terrorists in the world who can change the American way of life or our political system? No. Can they knock down a building? Yes. Can they kill somebody? Yes. But can they change us? No. Only we can change ourselves. So what is the great threat we are facing? I would approach this differently, in almost Marshall-like terms. What are the great opportunities out there - ones that we can take advantage of?" Read more.

September 2, 2007: This Month's Top Stories Date: September 6 2007 No: 1193 September 2, 2007: This Month's Top Stories
Blackwill has contract to undermine Iraqi government 29 Aug
Frank Delano returns to Ghana 31 Aug
Mike Honda's comfort woman resolution passes 28 Aug
Margaret Pratley at 81 is oldest PCV 23 Aug
"Pepo" Saavedra Iguina sings with heart of poet 23 Aug
Campbell's mother recalls her daughter in testimony 22 Aug
Ex-Americorps head appointed Associate Director 20 Aug
Tschetter in Paraguay for 40th anniversary of program 20 Aug
Niki Tsongas is front-runner for Congressional seat 19 Aug
Mike Sheppard announces Peace Corps Wiki 16 Aug
Mark Schneider writes: Getting answers on Pakistan 15 Aug
Al Kamen writes: A Little Iraq Nostalgia 15 Aug
Victor DeMasi studies butterflies 14 Aug
Obituary for Morocco Country Director Everett Woodman 13 Aug
Carol Miles helps increase African seed production 13 Aug
Bruce Anderson back at Anderson Valley Advertiser 13 Aug
Joe Keefe writes: Dodd deserves the Oval Office 13 Aug
Malaysia RPCVs find each other after 35 years 10 Aug
Molly Brown monitors farms from space 10 Aug
Colin Gallagher writes: Surveillance of US Citizens 8 Aug
Scott Lacy starts African Sky 6 Aug
Charles Murray to address Centre for Independent Studies 6 Aug

Paul Theroux: Peace Corps Writer Date: August 15 2007 No: 1185 Paul Theroux: Peace Corps Writer
Paul Theroux began by writing about the life he knew in Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer. His first first three novels are set in Africa and two of his later novels recast his Peace Corps tour as fiction. Read about how Theroux involved himself with rebel politicians, was expelled from Malawi, and how the Peace Corps tried to ruin him financially in John Coyne's analysis and appreciation of one of the greatest American writers of his generation (who also happens to be an RPCV).

August 4, 2007: This Month's Top Stories Date: August 5 2007 No: 1182 August 4, 2007: This Month's Top Stories
Peace Corps reopens Guinea Program 19 Jul
China beating US in public diplomacy 4 Aug
Shalala continues fight for wounded soldiers 4 Aug
Sue Hilderbrand's goal is stopping funding for Iraq war 3 Aug
Matthew Barison went from Uzbekistan to Romania 2 Aug
Peter Chilson writes "Disturbance-Loving Species" 31 Jul
An RPCV remembers Texas Tower Tragedy 29 Jul
Daniel Balluff films documentaries on Niger 28 Jul
Renewing the Bond of Trust with PCVs 27 Jul
Carol Bellamy to chair Fair Labor Foundation 25 Jul
Delay in Julia Campbell trial 24 Jul
PCV Brian writes: Secondary Projects - First Priority 23 Jul
Dodd says no easy election for Democrats in 2008 22 Jul
John Smart writes: Bush's palace in Iraq 20 Jul
Bill Moyers eulogizes Lady Bird Johnson 15 Jul
Social Justice ranks high on Dan Weinberg’s agenda 15 Jul
PCV Tait writes: Good-bye to my village 14 Jul
Amy Smith organizes Development Design Summit 13 Jul
Cameron Quinn to head PC Third Goal Office 11 Jul
Josh Yardley brought Red Sox to Burkina Faso 11 Jul
James Rupert writes: Islamabad's Red Mosque 11 Jul
Sarah Chayes writes: NATO didn't lose Afghanistan 10 Jul

Dodd issues call for National Service Date: June 26 2007 No: 1164 Dodd issues call for National Service
Standing on the steps of the Nashua City Hall where JFK kicked off his campaign in 1960, Presidential Candidate Chris Dodd issued a call for National Service. "Like thousands of others, I heard President Kennedy's words and a short time later joined the Peace Corps." Dodd said his goal is to see 40 million people volunteering in some form or another by 2020. "We have an appetite for service. We like to be asked to roll up our sleeves and make a contribution," he said. "We haven't been asked in a long time."

July 9, 2007: This Month's Top Stories Date: July 10 2007 No: 1172 July 9, 2007: This Month's Top Stories
O'Hanlon says "soft partition" occurring in Iraq 9 Jul
Eric R. Green writes on coming oil crisis 8 Jul
Why Dodd joined the Peace Corps 5 Jul
Jim Doyle positioned for third term 5 Jul
Michael Adlerstein to direct UN Master Plan 3 Jul
Shalala says Veterans report will be solution driven 1 Jul
Blackwill says: No process will make up for stupidity 30 Jun
Allan Reed creates a Diaspora Skills Transfer Program 29 Jun
State Dept apology ends hold on Green nomination 28 Jun
Call for stories to celebrate PC 50th Anniversary 25 Jun
Michael Shereikis is singer and guitarist for Chopteeth 25 Jun
Christopher R. Hill Visits North Korea 22 Jun
Tschetter at JFK Bust Unveiling Ceremony 21 Jun
Kiribati too risky for PCVs 17 Jun
James Rupert writes: US calls for free Pakistani elections 17 Jun
Colin Cowherd says PCVs are losers 7 Jun
Tony Hall Warns of Food Shortages in North Korea 7 Jun
Youth Theatre performs Spencer Smith's "Voices from Chernobyl" 7 Jun
Ifugao names forest park after Julia Campbell 6 Jun
Anissa Paulsen assembles "The Many Colors of Islam" 5 Jun
Obituary for Nepal RPCV Loret Miller Ruppe 2 Jun
Forty PCVS to arrive in Ethiopia 2 Jun

Public diplomacy rests on sound public policy Date: June 10 2007 No: 1153 Public diplomacy rests on sound public policy
When President Kennedy spoke of "a long twilight struggle," and challenged the country to "ask not," he signaled that the Cold War was the challenge and framework defining US foreign policy. The current challenge is not a struggle against a totalitarian foe. It is not a battle against an enemy called "Islamofascism." From these false assumptions flow false choices, including the false choice between law enforcement and war. Instead, law enforcement and military force both must be essential instruments, along with diplomacy, including public diplomacy. But public diplomacy rests on policy, and to begin with, the policy must be sound. Read more.

Ambassador revokes clearance for PC Director Date: June 27 2007 No: 1166 Ambassador revokes clearance for PC Director
A post made on PCOL from volunteers in Tanzania alleges that Ambassador Retzer has acted improperly in revoking the country clearance of Country Director Christine Djondo. A statement from Peace Corps' Press Office says that the Peace Corps strongly disagrees with the ambassador’s decision. On June 8 the White House announced that Retzer is being replaced as Ambassador. Latest: Senator Dodd has placed a hold on Mark Green's nomination to be Ambassador to Tanzania.

Peace Corps Funnies Date: May 25 2007 No: 1135 Peace Corps Funnies
A PCV writing home? Our editor hard at work? Take a look at our Peace Corps Funnies and Peace Corps Cartoons and see why Peace Corps Volunteers say that sometimes a touch of levity can be one of the best ways of dealing with frustrations in the field. Read what RPCVs say about the lighter side of life in the Peace Corps and see why irreverent observations can often contain more than a grain of truth. We'll supply the photos. You supply the captions.

PCOL serves half million Date: May 1 2007 No: 1120 PCOL serves half million
PCOL's readership for April exceeded 525,000 visitors - a 50% increase over last year. This year also saw the advent of a new web site: Peace Corps News that together with the Peace Corps Library and History of the Peace Corps serve 17,000 RPCVs, Staff, and Friends of the Peace Corps every day. Thanks for making PCOL your source of news for the Peace Corps community. Read more.

Suspect confesses in murder of PCV Date: April 27 2007 No: 1109 Suspect confesses in murder of PCV
Search parties in the Philippines discovered the body of Peace Corps Volunteer Julia Campbell near Barangay Batad, Banaue town on April 17. Director Tschetter expressed his sorrow at learning the news. “Julia was a proud member of the Peace Corps family, and she contributed greatly to the lives of Filipino citizens in Donsol, Sorsogon, where she served,” he said. Latest: Suspect Juan Duntugan admits to killing Campbell. Leave your thoughts and condolences .

The Peace Corps Library Date: July 11 2006 No: 923 The Peace Corps Library
The Peace Corps Library is now available online with over 40,000 index entries in 500 categories. Looking for a Returned Volunteer? Check our RPCV Directory or leave a message on our Bulletin Board. New: Sign up to receive our free Monthly Magazine by email, research the History of the Peace Corps, or sign up for a daily news summary of Peace Corps stories. FAQ: Visit our FAQ for more information about PCOL.

He served with honor Date: September 12 2006 No: 983 He served with honor
One year ago, Staff Sgt. Robert J. Paul (RPCV Kenya) carried on an ongoing dialog on this website on the military and the peace corps and his role as a member of a Civil Affairs Team in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have just received a report that Sargeant Paul has been killed by a car bomb in Kabul. Words cannot express our feeling of loss for this tremendous injury to the entire RPCV community. Most of us didn't know him personally but we knew him from his words. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends. He was one of ours and he served with honor.

Read the stories and leave your comments.

Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: Philadelphia Inquirer

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Boomers; Older Volunteers; Recruitment


Add a Message

This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.