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Our Mission

  NOWCC provides government agencies experienced workers using cost-effective, flexible, innovative and contemporary staffing options.

Who We Are

The National Older Worker Career Center (NOWCC) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to promoting experienced workers as a valuable and critical component of the nation’s workforce.  Since its establishment in 1997 NOWCC has -- through hundreds of workers ages 55+ -- provided over 15 million hours of dedicated, experienced labor to two federal agencies. 

NOWCC currently operates cost-effective, flexible and innovative experienced worker programs for the Environmental Protection Agency and the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the US Department of Agriculture.  We work closely with those agencies to recruit, place and support work-ready, skilled and experienced older adults for positions, both full- and part-time, that support the critical missions of the agencies. 

Our experience is that a growing percentage of older adults in the first waves of the Baby Boomers reaching 65 are not ready for traditional retirement and want to continue contributing to the society via participation, either full- or part-time, in the workforce.   This phenomenon – the “not ready for retirement” cohort of the Boomer generation – is emerging at a time that many employers, public and private sector alike, are beginning to face the loss of experience as those workers who to want to retire are doing so.  (At a meeting of federal managers several years ago one participant noted that at the beginning of that year he saw over a thousand years of experience retiring within the span of a week.  And he was struggling with how to retain even a portion of that knowledge.)   Unfortunately, many businesses find themselves ill-prepared to retain the knowledge, the contacts, the ‘how to get that problem solved’ experience of folks who are opting to retire or to step away from ‘the grind’.  The idea of retiring from what might have been a long career and wanting to continue engaging in society through work are not mutually exclusive. 

The challenge NOWCC works to address is to recruit and match qualified experienced workers with the specific workforce needs of the agencies we support, and do that in a flexible, responsive and competitive manner.  We are meeting that challenge every day.

Our History

NOWCC began operations in 1997 as a national nonprofit organization to promote experienced workers as a valuable and critical component of the nation’s workforce.  The precursor of NOWCC was a unit inside AARP that had administered the EPA Senior Environmental Employment (SEE) Program for over 15 years.  As the result of a strategic restructuring in 1996, AAPR decided to conclude its connection with the SEE Program; because of its commitment to the value of older workers AARP facilitated the launch of a new non-profit to continue administering its portion of the SEE Program and to continue to promote experienced worker programs.

NOWCC administers experienced work programs for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the SEE Program for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).   Following the requirements set forth in the legislation authorizing the programs, NOWCC has cooperative agreements with the agencies to recruit, place and support experienced workers age 55 years or older to fill positions specified and managed by the requesting agency.  Those positions are very diverse, ranging from database managers to soil scientists, from program support to technical writing.  They work under the daily direction of federal staff; in many instance that relationship has resulted in the older worker providing the benefits of an informal mentor.  Every day their contributions demonstrate the value of experienced worker programs as a viable and proven option for meeting today’s complex workforce challenges.

In setting up an older worker program, NOWCC’s experienced staff works directly with an agency to design an operation that address the agency’s specific workforce needs while also meeting the administrative requirements of the agency.  When the NRCS pilot program was created in 2005, the framework was similar to the SEE Program model at EPA (originally authorized in 1984) but it was significantly modified to meet the specific operational requirements for NRCS.  For example, wages, reporting processes, and the contracting mechanism were modified to fit the specific needs of NRCS;  in this case the agency opted to use an umbrella cooperative agreement against which individual state NRCS programs can execute task orders to recruit and retain experienced workers in the state.

Since its establishment NOWCC has, through hundreds of workers ages 55+, provided over 15 million hours of dedicated, experienced labor to two federal agencies. NOWCC currently supports approximately 660 participants in these programs, operating in 35 states and the District of Columbia.

NOWCC has -

  • a perfect record in grants compliance
  • broad experience in grants management and administration
  • four offices – a headquarters office in Arlington, VA, and field offices in: Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; and, Rochester, NY
  • an ethnically & age diverse staff of 25 people
  • a 15 year track record of being a cost effective, flexible and proven performer
  • an experienced staff and strong IT infrastructure to support the programs