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A Force Multiplier for Professional Program Growth: Synergistic Effects of Hiring Senior Retired Workers

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Future Directions of Continuing Professional Development

Tagged Division

Continuing Professional Development

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.48.1 - 25.48.14



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Paper Authors


Mitchell L. Springer PMP, SPHR Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Mitchell Springer is an Associate Professor in technology leadership and innovation and currently serves as the Director of the Purdue University College of Technology, Academic Center for Professional Studies in Technology and Applied Research (ProSTAR) located in West Lafayette, Ind. He possesses more than 30 years of theoretical and industry-based practical experience from four disciplines: software engineering, systems engineering, program management, and human resources. He sits on many university and community boards and advisory committees. Springer is internationally recognized, has authored numerous books and articles, and lectured on software development methodologies, management practices, and program management. Springer received his bachelor's of science in computer science from Purdue University, his M.B.A. and doctorate in adult and community education with a cognate in executive development from Ball State University. He is certified as both a Project Management Professional (PMP) and a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR).

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Mark T. Schuver Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Mark Schuver is the Associate Director for the Center for Professional Studies in Technology and Applied Research (ProSTAR) in the College of Technology at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. He is responsible for the development and administration of the Weekend Master’s Degree programs, the Rolls-Royce Master’s Degree programs, and the growth of Professional Education programs in the College of Technology. Prior to joining Purdue in 2002, Schuver was employed by Caterpillar, Inc., for 35 years with assignments in product design, research and development, supplier management, quality management, logistics management, and various leadership positions. He holds an associate's degree in drafting technology from North Iowa Area Community College (1967), a B.S. in business administration (1990), and M.S. in management (1992) from Indiana Wesleyan University. Schuver is a member of the American Society for Engineering Education and serves on the Executive Board of the Continuing Professional Development Division. He is also a member of College/Industry Partnerships, Engineering Technology, and Graduate Studies divisions of ASEE. Schuver is a member of the National Collaborative Task Force for Engineering Education Reform and is a Lifetime Certified Purchasing Manager with the Institute of Supply Management (formerly NAPM).

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A Force Multiplier for Professional Program Growth – Synergistic Effects of Hiring Senior Retired WorkersThis paper focuses on the success and sustainability of growing professional programs derivedfrom the synergy of hiring senior retired workers. It is based on real-life actual accounts anddiscusses the many hidden values stemming from the significant breadth and depth ofknowledge, both theoretical and experiential. The hiring of retired individuals provides not onlya wealth of knowledge, but different expectations for compensation and reward, this given theemployment expectations for retired workers are different from chronologically youngeremployees.In short, retired workers want to remain actively involved in, and remain a part of the greatersocial construct. They want to continue to contribute in a meaningful way; their motivation isslanted towards self actualization in the sense they wish to contribute all that they know and allthat they are. Senior workers are not necessarily motivated by traditional rewards. By this, theyare not typically looking to become the next business president, nor are they concerned aboutachieving the highest pay achievable. They want to be productive members of society and ifproperly folded into the vision of the organization, bring an unprecedented wealth of knowledgeand focus to meeting the challenges.This paper will focus on defining the older worker demographic, looking at the aging of theworld’s population, examining the proposed shortfall of skilled workers in the United States,examining the science and engineering supply and demand continuum, the international impact,examining the mindset of retired workers and the attendant cost implications.Defining senior retired workers begins with reconciling the many current age demographiccohorts in the workforce today. Although we have documented as many as eight individualcohort groups, in a nutshell, we have four primary demographic groups in our workforce today;Veterans (1922-1946; 52 million population), Boomers (1946-1964; 76 million population), GenX (1964-1980; 44 million population) and Gen Y (1980-2000; 69.7 million population).Retirement ages, coupled with the gains in life expectancy, mean adults are spending more oftheir life in retirement. In 1960, men on average could expect to spend 46 years in the laborforce and a little more than 1 year in retirement. By 1995, the number of years in the labor forcehad decreased to 37, while the number of years in retirement had jumped to 12. Some authorshave predicted an 18 million worker shortfall by 2014. Ironically, however, in looking at thesame data forecast for 2014, there will be 14 million people available to work between the agesof 65 and 74.Based on cohort characteristics there are four primary areas where senior retired workers bringadvantages to a work environment: work ethic, financial awareness, experience and emotionalintelligence.

Springer, M. L., & Schuver, M. T. (2012, June), A Force Multiplier for Professional Program Growth: Synergistic Effects of Hiring Senior Retired Workers Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--20808

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