The end of corporate retirement benefits is an old story. The rise of retirement benefits, well that’s worth some hoopla.
Meet one contrarian company–Intel Corp.
Today, Civic Ventures, a nonprofit think tank that focuses on boomers and encore careers with social purpose, announced a program with the Santa Clara, CA-based chip maker to offer all of Intel’s U.S. employees who are eligible to retire the chance to apply for Encore Fellowships – paid, part-time, yearlong assignments working at local nonprofits.
And take note, these are paid positions. Encore Fellows are paired with nonprofits, where they typically work 1,000 hours over a six- to-12-month period, through either a part- or full-time schedule, and earn a stipend of $25,000.
Intel’s workers will have the opportunity to deploy their existing skills, say, marketing or finance, to help nonprofits strengthen their operations.
The beauty of it is two-fold:
The fellowship delivers corporate firepower to a nonprofit that can’t afford to bring someone with the experience these retirees offer on board. For Intel’s retirees looking to continue working in their next act, it’s a perfect training ground in the ways of the nonprofit arena, and a possible try-out for a new gig. No promises, of course, but it could lead to a more permanent position, or at the very least, it’s a chance to learn about nonprofit work and get a foot in the door to develop a network of contacts and resources.
Boomers are clearly hungry for this type of training and entree. Workers who end their midcareer for-profit jobs often eye the nonprofit sector as their next stomping grounds either for full-time or part-time jobs. If you’re retired, it’s the time in your life when it feels right to give back to society. And getting paid for lending your expertise makes it even better.
New research from Civic Ventures and MetLife Foundation shows that as many as 9 million people, or 9 percent of all people ages 44 to 70, are currently in encore careers, having made major career changes after age 40 or come out of retirement to do work that combines personal meaning, continued income and social purpose. (Civic Ventures will release the report, Encore Career Choices: Purpose, Passion and a Paycheck in a Tough Economy, on November 29.)
“Intel offers those who aren’t ready to wind down a new option: Gear up for the greater good,” Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of Civic Ventures and author of The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife, says.
Today’s announcement is the largest expansion of the Encore Fellowships program. Freedman and his troupe have been trumpeting the need for this type of fellowship for a few years.
The Civic Ventures Encore Fellows program started nearly three years ago with a pilot of ten fellows in California’s Silicon Valley, backed by The David and Lucile Packard Foundation and Hewlett-Packard.
The Encore Fellowships Network has opportunities in programs via various funders and company sponsors, in Silicon Valley; the San Francisco Bay Area; Sacramento, Calif.; Portland, Ore.; Maricopa County, Ariz.; New York; California’s Central Valley; Albuquerque, N.M.; Hudson, Mass.; Seattle; and Washington, D.C.
In addition to Intel, big supporters behind the growing effort: The Packard Foundation, California Health Care Foundation, Agilent Technologies, and H-P. East Coast nonprofit hosts include: ASHOKA, Washington DC; Center for Employment Opportunities, NY; Community Environmental Center, NY; Credit Where Credit is Due, Inc., NY, York City Housing Authority, NY; Women in Need, Inc., NY.
The California HealthCare Foundation and the Civic Ventures Encore Fellowships Network, for example, launched Encore Fellows in California Community Clinics this past summer to help bolster the clinics’ and centers’ operations, which collectively care for more than 500,000 patients per year – three-quarters of whom live at or below the federal poverty level. The program pairs up to 18 former corporate professionals with clinics in the Central Valley Health Network, a group of 124 community health centers spread across 21 counties. Member clinics gain needed expertise in financial management, operations, information technology and planning. The California HealthCare Foundation is supporting the program with a $500,000 grant.
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