Letter to the Editor

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To the Editor:

A Wall Street Journal headline on June 21 stated, "More Retirees, Fewer Workers, Strain U.S." In the coming decade, 65 to 75 and older age groups will be the fastest growing segments in the labor force, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Meanwhile, there is a critical shortage of qualified, government agency employees and teachers in South Carolina. One reason is that this area of our economy (government-education) does not fully utilize less than fulltime employment.

The Island Packet reported last November that more than 7,000 South Carolina teachers left their classrooms last year, while 10,441 state employees are within five years of retirement and 6,536 full-time jobs were currently vacant.

More and more private employers are finding it cost effective utilizing seniors and retirees to supplement their basic full-time workforce, so why not our state agencies and educational system?

Here are just eight reasons why they should hire part-time seniors- retirees to fill shortages.

  1. It is usually not necessary to pay benefits; retirees already have them.
  2. Offer on-demand flexibility, off-boarding by project.
  3. Have more experience, requiring less training.
  4. Offer more reliability, less absenteeism.
  5. Motivated to "give back."
  6. Have better customer service skills.
  7. Often have unique skills in given field, advanced degrees.
  8. Show higher level of commitment and loyalty.

Government, education, students, retirees and taxpayers all benefit, a win-win situation for society!

We need to encourage this thinking. Contact your school board and representatives in Columbia and Washington.

Earle Everett

Hilton Head Island

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