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 November 19, 1999

SCORE volunteers help younger set

For people who have spent their lives as business owners, chief executives, dedicated associates or who just enjoyed working 9 to 5 every day, it may be difficult to give up a career. As baby-boomers approach retirement age, some may be wondering what to do with themselves when the day finally comes and they aren’t ready to just sit back and relax.

In Boulder County, there is plenty to do. A group of former business owners are showing the way.

The Service Core of Retired Executives (SCORE) counsels owners of new and existing businesses, trying to help a younger generation make sound business decisions.

“We tell them the way it is, rather than the book,” says Robert Aglar, district manager for Colorado SCORE and the retired president of Perry & Butler Realty Inc.

The organization links retired businessmen and women to counsel those considering opening a small business or those already in business. SCORE members also may be guest speakers at colleges or lead workshops for small business owners. Members are not paid, but they are reimbursed for travel and parking.

“It’s a very rewarding situation,” says Agler. “You really learn from the people you meet more than anything else. It’s nice to hear you were very helpful.”

At age 75, Aglar has worked at SCORE for more than 11 years. He works all day on Mondays at the Denver office and on other days is involved in speaking engagements, visiting other chapters and answering calls at home.

SCORE’s Boulder chapter dissolved in 1992, but Boulder County members, such as Longmont resident Lincoln Price, 72, work from home and are assigned local cases. Price, who says his business experience is based on mom-and-pop stores, owned several Boulder businesses with his wife, Blanche, including the Williams Village Dry Cleaner in Boulder and the Needlecrafter. Price says his advice isn’t always what people want to hear because he sometimes recommends that people get out of the business.

“There is no sense staying on the end of a branch and suffering,” he says. “There is a lot more to life than stroking your ego and being in business.”

Though not all of the businesses endure, SCORE celebrated its 35th anniversary this year. There are about 160 members in the state in four chapters – Denver, Pueblo, Colorado Springs and Grand Junction. Nationally, SCORE boasts a $3.5 million budget and has 400 chapters and 12,000 members. The approximately 70 Denver members come from varied professional background such as marketing, manufacturing and retail.

“We can just about match any client with a counselor,” says Agler.

Working seniors

Some seniors have lost their jobs and want either a paying job where they use acquired skills or a less stressful position than they had before. And some seniors just aren’t ready to be out of the work force. With a growing senior population and a tight labor market, perhaps putting people to work who are of retirement age can help address several issues.

Workforce Boulder County (previously the Job Service Center) 50+ Employment Opportunities helps Boulder County residents older than age 50 find jobs. Today 180 seniors ranging from ages 50 to 78 are enrolled and looking for work. Seniors as old as 86 have been placed with help from the center’s free services.

“Employers who call us like the work ethic of the older person,” says Linda Woods, team leader of the 50+ Employment Opportunities Program. “They don’t have the home family distractions that a lot of younger persons have. Often an older person can be a role model for younger people in the workplace, and that could be good for a business to have.”

Many of the seniors looking for work have college degrees. Mechanical engineers, physical therapists, former ministers, accountants, and former chief executive officers all have found work through the center.

The 50+ Group also provides free retraining to qualified applicants through Job Training Partnership and the Dislocated Worker Program. It also offers a Rebound Group for those seniors who have been laid off and are suffering from depression.

Twice a month the organization also offers Job Club meetings for people older than age 50, where outside speakers address topics relevant to the senior job-seeker.

Seniors with business backgrounds also can volunteer at the Boulder Chamber Small Business Development Center.

More than 50 volunteer specialists counsel in the area of their specific expertise, including general counseling, financial counseling, legal counseling and entrepreneurial training.

For people who have spent their lives as business owners, chief executives, dedicated associates or who just enjoyed working 9 to 5 every day, it may be difficult to give up a career. As baby-boomers approach retirement age, some may be wondering what to do with themselves when the day finally comes and they aren’t ready to just sit back and relax.

In Boulder County, there is plenty to do. A group of former business owners are showing the way.

The Service Core of Retired Executives (SCORE) counsels owners of new and existing businesses, trying to help a younger generation make sound…

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