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WHY NOT GIVE OLDER WORKERS A CHANCE?

We keep hearing about job fairs being held to keep our young college graduates here in New York State. I agree 100 percent.

But what about all the middle-aged people -- who have paid taxes for years and have made small companies into large ones -- who are now unemployed?

It seems that every job advertised requires at least four years of experience and a college degree. Have we forgotten that not long ago, people didn't need a degree to get a job? Years ago, only the rich could afford to go to college.

I have been fortunate to have a job so far. But I have lost many relatives, including my brother and his family, who had to move to another state to find employment.

College graduates don't have experience, like many jobs require, yet they are given a chance to prove themselves. This is great. But why not give older workers a chance to prove themselves, too?

My husband has been looking for a job for months, after a work-related injury forced him to change his career of 12 years.

He goes to interview after interview, but gets no call-backs. They tell him he's overqualified or inexperienced. What happened to on-the-job training for people our age?

I believe that New York State is going in the direction of a retirement and welfare state. People just can't survive on a minimum-wage job with no benefits.

We want to keep our families here, but how can we? And what about the people who have parents to look after? What do we do? Leave them behind?

Look at all the bankruptcies filed in Western New York. There are thousands of them. People just can't make it.

Yet the papers say there is a shortage of workers. There are workers out there -- millions of them -- but employers won't give people a chance to prove themselves. So what are we supposed to do? We need some answers.

CHARLENE NEASE

Angola

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