Jim Wolfe, former manager of the J.C. Penney district distribution center in Salt Lake City, hopes his tenure as president of Forty Plus of Utah Inc. is a short one.
To belong to Forty Plus one has to be more than 40 years old and unemployed, and Wolfe hopes the latter situation will be short. He can't do anything about turning back the calendar (he's 53), but he wants to get back to work and get out of the club.Wolfe has been unable to find work since the center closed last July and finds himself in the same situation as many other executives over 40 years old and without work because of company relocations, bankruptcies and economic downturns and the resulting layoffs.
Although he has been club president for about three months, Wolfe believes he has accomplished quite a bit to educate the public and businesses about the club's goals and purpose.
Forty Plus is a self-help, non-profit job-seeking organization of temporarily unemployed men and women over 40 who have proven records of performance in management, administration or the professions. The organization uses a team concept to help its members find new positions in their fields of expertise.
Wolfe said Forty Plus works with the Utah Department of Employment Security and has an office at Job Service, 1234 S. Main, telephone 533-2191. Recently the organizations opened a branch office with Job Service in Ogden that will have someone on duty two days per week.
There is no cost to employers dealing with Forty Plus if they find someone they want to hire, Wolfe said.
A flier telling about Forty Plus will be mailed with Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce and South Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce newsletters in May.
Wolfe also has been talking to state economic development officials to have them explain about Forty Plus of Utah when they make pitches to get companies to expand into Utah. "It's much more cost effective to hire a proven person from Forty Plus to operate a new branch in Utah than it is to pay a manager's moving expenses from another state," Wolfe said.
Applicants to Forty Plus must have held responsible positions in middle or upper management; earned at least $25,000 annually for men and $18,000 for women; and are required to spend at least eight hours weekly helping locate new job opportunities and assist in placing chapter members.
The chapter has about 50 members who pay a $25 initial fee and $10 monthly dues. The money covers expenses of running the office and paying mailing costs.
A roster of people and their skills is maintained by the chapter, although each mini-resume is identified only by a number to retain objectivity. Some people are listed in the roster under more than one category.
"When a job order comes in, the placement committee reviews the list and calls members to ask if they're interested in an interview. The committee sets up the interview, but then it's up to the member," Wolfe said.
Chapter officials check with employers to be sure they are sending applicants with qualifications employers need and learn if the applicants are living up to Forty Plus standards.
Each week a training meeting is held so members can brush up on such things as resume preparation, interviewing skills and how to dress and act for an interview. In some cases it has been 20 years since these people were interviewed so they might need some help, Wolfe said.
Although the primary goal of Forty Plus is the placement of its members in permanent professional, sales, administrative and management positions, members also are available for short-term contract assignments and consulting.