By Brenda Johnson, Work, Careers and Job @40+

Carrier Corporation’s move from Indiana to Mexico became national news. The 1,400 Carrier employees know their positions are being phased out and that they need to prepare for new careers. It usually doesn’t happen that way; job loss typically happens suddenly.

When Dick Rea learned the position he held for nearly nine years was eliminated in a corporate restructuring, it was a shock. As a long-time professional in television broadcasting and corporate communications, he was confident about updating his resume and cover letter. Rea also had Indianapolis’ secret weapon for job search: Passport to Employment (P2E). “My job was eliminated on June 25 and on June 30, I was front and center at P2E, listening to Earle Hart and his team of volunteers,” says Rea.

P2E meets on every Monday 7-9 p.m. in the Church at the Crossing, 9111 Haverstick Road, Indianapolis. Its goal is to help the unemployed overcome their obstacles and meet their needs.

The results of P2E are impressive: nearly 1,200 people have found full-time employment and more than 1,800 people have found “bridge employment” of part-time, seasonal or temporary work. While P2E has many success stories of Boomers who have revitalized their careers, it welcomes job seekers of all ages, career levels and career types. P2E also helps the underemployed find better jobs and through partner resources, the group helps connect job seekers with services from food pantries and interview clothes to medical and dental services. Earle Hart, the energetic 73-year-old director and founder of P2E, says, “The first question I get is how much it costs to join?” And then he tells them that P2E is free to a point. “Your fee is required when you find a job: bring cookies for Monday evening’s meeting and share your job search success story,” laughs Hart. Participants do not need to be members of Church at the Crossing to attend P2E.

Hart and the dozen volunteers who comprise the P2E “staff” use their career experience to help others. Like Hart, many are retired executives, although the staff includes former entrepreneurs and hiring managers along with others active in the workforce.

In addition to the Monday night meetings that draw 40-60 people, there are workshops on a variety of job search topics, guest speakers and accountability groups meeting during the week across the city to accommodate people closer to home.

Hart offers special career advice to Boomers. “I remind Boomers of the three things,” says Hart. The first is that you have to make your job search about the hiring manager, not yourself. The second is that the resume is an application for an interview, not a job. Third is to use the exact language in the job posting in your cover letter or resume. His number one piece of advice for Boomers in the job market is about attitude. “People over 55 believe the myth that due to age no one will hire them,” says Hart. At P2E, that myth is busted almost every Monday.

What happened to Dick Rea? It took longer than he expected; however, his new job was well worth the time investment. He brought cookies to the Monday P2E meeting and shared his job search success.

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