When the Indiana Chamber Foundation released its Workforce Wise report last week, it invited Mac Parker and Martha Lamkin to the event to add some perspective. Neither disappointed. Their personal stories are symbolic of the entire study — taking advantage (both on the job and in the community) of the experiences and passions of the Baby Boomer generation.
A few of their insights and comments:
- Parker, an attorney with Baker & Daniels for more than 50 years, brought with him nearly 20-year-old magazine clippings broaching this same subject — the consequences of an aging workforce. While the tendency then was to "push this back" and "talk about that tomorrow," Parker emphasized that "tomorrow is here now."
- He noted the dramatic difference in 75 million Baby Boomers and 25 million members of Generation X.
- Finally, Parker said he was glad to see attention to the subject of what communities can do for potential retirees, describing that group as "very desirable new residents."
Lamkin has enjoyed a long and successful career in education-related issues, philanthropy and community involvement. She sees tremendous value in not forgetting about older Hoosiers both in the workplace and in society.
"Employers need to value this mature, reliable element of the workforce. We want to keep those persons engaged in the workplace and in a mentoring role," she says. "I also encourage every person to be engaged in community life. For older adults, it’s personal fulfillment, an opportunity to own our community responsibilities."
Helping educate young people is one of those areas of responsibility. While sons and daughters may have already passed through the education system, older Hoosiers can still, Lamkin explains, "run for the school board, mentor students, be part of booster organizations," and in the big picture, simply be a "positive influence in students’ lives."
The Workforce Wise web site has the latest report, as well as other informative studies. Lamkin and Mark Lawrance, the Chamber VP who oversaw the study over the past year, will appear on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick to discuss the latest. See when the show airs in your area (during Christmas week).