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Older Workers in the Changing Job Market : Records, 1989-2002


3 cartons


The records of the Older Workers in the Changing Job Market, formerly known as the Project Against Age Discrimination in Employment (PAADE), were donated to the Archives and Special Collections Department of the Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts at Boston by Hilda Scott in October 2001.


In the 1980’s, men and women in their 50’s and 60’s with skills and experience – engineers, professionals, technicians, salespeople, administrators, and middle managers – were the principle victims of the wave of downsizing that hit the U.S. To meet this challenge, the Gray Panthers of Greater Boston brought together a coalition of agencies and advocacy groups in the Boston area to hold a Public Hearing on Age Discrimination in Employment at Faneuil Hall in May 1990.

The response to this event prompted the Gray Panthers to establish a permanent Project Against Age Discrimination in Employment (PAADE). After four years of working on the issues associated with age discrimination in the workplace, it became clear that results could come only at a national level. The coalition reassembled in 1994, with some new members, to hold a public forum directed at national policymakers. That forum, held in May 1994, was called “The Job Crisis Facing Older Workers.” Following the interest in the forum, the coalition members agreed that the urgency and intractability of the problem warranted a permanent organization. The result was a coalition of sixteen advocacy groups and agencies called Older Workers in the Changing Job Market. In December of 2001, the organization joined forces with the Gerontology Institute of the University of Massachusetts Boston and the Massachusetts Association of Older Americans to create a new coalition named “the Mature Workers Coalition.”

Scope and Content

The collection consists mainly of ninety six folders organized chronologically and is divided into two subcollections, the first of which is under the original name of Project Against Age Discrimination in Employment (PAADE) covering the years 1989-1994 and the second of which is under the name of Older Workers in the Changing Job Market covering the years 1994-2002. Each subcollection has been divided into three series: minutes, advocacy, and public policy outreach. Several folders have been combined where appropriate to content of materials, and most folder names have been retained. The collection also contains eight videocassettes pertaining to issues of concern to the coalition and a small file box of cards with information from and about older workers who communicated with the coalition.

Folders contain meeting minutes; correspondence between members, from and to older workers, to and from legislators, and to and from media representatives; histories of the organization; grant proposals; plans for and final reports of public forums; workshop information; and publicity. These activities were undertaken to foster achievement of the coalition’s goals to increase awareness of age discrimination, to inform older workers of their rights, to encourage them to resist discrimination, to change perceptions of older workers, to influence public policy and to work for enforcement of anti-discrimination legislation, and to find ways of improving employment opportunities for older workers.

The coalition included the following agencies and advocacy groups:
AARP Foundation
Senior Employment Program
Experience Unlimited, Inc.
Gerontology Institute
UMass. Boston
Gray Panthers of Greater Boston
Green Thumb, Inc.
New England Office
Jewish Vocational Services
Mass Assn. Of Older Americans
Mass Senior Action Council
National Asian Pacific Center on Aging, Boston
Older Women’s League
Greater Boston Chapter
Operation A.B.L.E.
Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services
Urban League