GUILDERLAND: Employers value age and experience

"I think a lot of them choose to work here because they just like being around other people," she said.

Jane Springer, a Guilderland senior and member of the chamber, is a part-time worker at the Guilderland YMCA.

Springer, who is older than 75, was once a Guilderland town clerk and a county legislator for seven years. After retiring, Springer realized she wasn't ready to call it quits in the workforce yet.

"I still enjoy working," she said. "I know I don't have as much energy as I used to, but I missed being out and doing things with people."

At the Guilderland YMCA, Springer works about eight hours a week planning the senior program calender. She organizes all of the YMCA's monthly events like the annual book sale in November, Grandparents and Grandchildren's Day in February, and Active Older Adults Day in May.

Springer will be representing the Guilderland YMCA at a table at the Senior Job and Volunteer Fair, where she hopes to get seniors involved with some of the programs.

Springer said that although working isn't for all seniors, its important for them to keep busy, her key to success in her golden years.

"The big thing is to stay active. You don't have to do anything more than walking," she said, adding that many seniors choose to volunteer instead because there is less of a commitment.

"It depends on the individual person," she said. "For some people, volunteering two or three times a year is enough, but some people need more."

In addition to hiring seniors, many companies will also offer various volunteer opportunities, from greeting guests at events to performing general administrative tasks.

Judy Bailey, also a Guilderland senior and member of the chamber, has been volunteering at the Guilderland Senior Center for years. Bailey does some administrative work for the center and some creative tasks, like decorating for luncheons. Bailey said her love of volunteering is a result of being a people person, and it is what keeps her busy these days.

Her advice to seniors: "Don't sit around and watch the boob tube; stay active and accomplish something," she said.

The 2006 Albany County Senior Adult and Volunteer Employment Fair will take place at the Italian American Community Center on Washington Avenue Extension in Albany from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For information, call the Guilderland Chamber of Commerce at 456-6611. ""

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