As millions of children and youth in America experience severe adversity and greater social isolation than ever before, the time is ripe to tap into the growing pool of adults 50+ (what we call “encore talent”) invested in leaving the world a better place for younger generations.

Organizations and public agencies play a critical role in this vision, with the potential to engage a critical mass of older adults throughout our communities. With the help of creative,committed leaders like you, we can help create a society where older generations helping kids thrive is the norm.

This starter guide was designed by practitioners, for practitioners. It highlights ten simple steps to help kick-start the development of an intentional plan to recruit, train and retain encore talent for your organization.

Whether you’re engaging encore talent for the first time, increasing the number of experienced adults on your team, or working to further diversify your multi-generational workforce, you will find insights and ideas in this guide that will help you get beyond business as usual and prepare your organization to fully embrace people 50+.

The guide is organized into ten sections, one for each step. Each section consists of three elements:

  1. A detailed description of the step.
  2. A tool or checklist to help you take action.
  3. Additional resources for expanding your knowledge or deepening your engagement.

We recommend completing the Readiness Self-Assessment at the beginning of this guide to highlight which specific steps could use your attention, and utilizing the Action Plan at the end of the guide to identify priorities and next steps.

One final note: This guide was designed to be used in the context of a community of practitioners—sharing best practices, brainstorming how to overcome challenges, and exploring ways to customize or improve these tools for specific settings. Join the conversation at

We look forward to learning from your experience as we work together to connect the generations for mutual benefit.


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