THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release March 7, 1997
NATIONAL OLDER WORKERS EMPLOYMENT WEEK, 1997
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
American workers age 55 and older represent one of our country's richest resources, and the value of their potential contribution to our society is immense. An estimated 70 percent of all Americans age 55 and older already actively contribute to our common good -- by working, by volunteering, and by caring for sick and disabled relatives, friends, and neighbors.
Despite their qualifications, however, many of these Americans experience serious difficulty finding work if they lose a job or desire new employment. Their search for employment can become increasingly challenging as they grow older.
Our laws and government agencies can -- and do -- offer protections, programs, and services for older workers. The Age Discrimination Act, the Older Americans Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act all recognize the unique rights of such employees, and the Department of Labor alone helps thousands of workers each year through efforts such as the Senior Community Service Employment Program.
But it is up to employers also to recognize the potential of older Americans as employees -- to recognize that by every common measure of job performance, older workers are as effective as younger people because of their unique skills, experiences, and judgment. And, it is appropriate that we designate a week to acknowledge that all workers should be judged and employed on the basis of their individual ability to do a job, regardless of age.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 9 through March 15, 1997, as National Older Workers Employment Week, and I urge all employers when they hire new workers to consider carefully the skills and other qualifications of men and women age 55 and older. I also encourage public officials responsible for job placement, training, and related services to intensify their efforts throughout the year to help older workers locate available jobs and training.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventh day of March, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-first.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
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