Minority Press

Scott, Aging Committee Members Hold Hearing on the Aging American Workforce Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic


WASHINGTON—Yesterday, Ranking Member Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Chairman Bob Casey (D-Pa.), and members of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging heard from a panel of witnesses about the needs of America’s older workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

During the hearing, Senators Scott and Casey examined the ways in which working older Americans were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ways they can be supported as they try to reenter the workforce and contribute to our nation’s economy.     

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Click Video to Hear Ranking Member Scott’s Opening Statement


RM Tim Scott on South Carolina seniors…

“Twenty two million jobs were lost in March, many states are still recovering according to the BLS. Our unemployment rate right now in South Carolina is about 5.2% that is below the national average…Nationwide, more than ten million Americans ages 65 and older were employed, but by July 2020 we saw 1.1 million that lost their jobs. That is a major part of this epidemic and we are trying to stress the importance of reengagement here in this hearing…”

RM Tim Scott on the opportunities available for seniors within the gig economy… 

“Seniors also have tremendous opportunities in the gig economy. Scores of seniors work as independent contractors, seasonal workers, and freelancers. A 2019 report by ADP Institute found that 30% of all contractors were 55 years or older. They participate in the gig economy in a very strong and powerful way andthey enjoy incredibly high levels of job satisfaction.  South Carolina’s own Theodosia who supplements her retirement income by driving Uber, says that her flexibility and independence that comes from being an independent contractor is really important to her.”

RM Tim Scott on the Golden-preneurship Act…

“That is why I will be introducing the Golden-preneurship Act, it is focusing on folks like Veera [a senior entrepreneur in Greenville, South Carolina] so that we could help encourage and motivate more successful entrepreneurs who are in their golden years. The legislation provides new training opportunities for senior entrepreneurs and it requires SBA to track the number and the amount of loans provided to senior-owned businesses.”

On his opposition to  PRO ACT and its devastating effects on our seniors …

“Proposals like the PRO Act will dramatically hike the minimum wage, and those two specific areas could actually reduce the likelihood of success for our older Americans. The PRO Act would be devastating to drivers like Theodosia who would lose the sense of independence if her status is reclassified.”

 

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Click Video to Hear South Carolina Witness David Poston’s Testimony 

David Poston on the benefits of hiring older workers … 

“Today, 50 percent of our production employees are over 50 years old, and 70 percent are over 40. Furthermore, 100 percent of upper management is over the age of 50, as well as 90 percent of middle management. We employ more managers in their 70’s than in their 20’s and 30’s.  We do this because we found, while tracking attendance statistics a few years ago, we noticed that employees over the age of 40 had much better attendance records than our younger associates. Older workers were late less often, did not leave before the end of their shift, and were our most reliable workers.”

“Hiring, training, and retaining older workers is the key to our successful and efficient workforce at Palmetto Synthetics. Because of modern technology, manufacturing and production jobs are no longer out of reach of older workers. Meanwhile, more and more employers are discovering the unique advantages of older workers in their workforce to mentor younger workers, retain institutional knowledge, and increase reliability.”  

David Poston on PPP loans saving the business…

“During this difficult period, we were able to keep 100% of our employees on the payroll because of a PPP loan we received. I do not know where our company would have been without the lifeline we received from our PPP loan. PPP saved most if not all of our jobs. I want to thank Senator Scott for his leadership on this program to ensure our nation’s small businesses had the resources they needed to weather the storm.”


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