Legacy Link honored its 2010 older worker of the year and employer of the year Aug. 27 with a breakfast ceremony at the Beulah Rucker Museum.
The Dawson County Adult Education Center received the award for employer of the year, recognizing its record of hiring older workers.
Linda Phillips, a job developer for the Senior Community Services Employment Program, was named older worker of the year for her contributions to the program. The program is a Department of Labor initiative that provides job training and employment assistance to older workers.
Legacy Link administers it in Gainesville.
Before the award presentation, Phillips appeared as her alter ego, Lucy Carol, and performed a comedy routine for the group.
She took a lighthearted approach to aging and told jokes about the challenges of being a senior citizen.
“I like to think of myself as being young at heart and older in other places,” she said. “We don’t want to take ourselves too seriously.”
Faye Grigg presented Phillips with her award, pointing out how she uses her humor to help others find success. She said Phillips also understands the challenges older workers face.
Phillips found her way to the Senior Community Service Employment Program at age 58, following the death of her husband. She was out of work after tending to her ailing husband and had trouble finding another job.
“She has a sense of humor that fits any occasion and smooths the way through many situations,” Grigg said.
“Linda is a natural for being a job developer. She understands her applicants and their needs. She considers their successes her successes and does all that she can to provide the opportunities for them to move on with their lives.”
Phillips presented the award for the employer of the year.
“The mission of the Lanier Technical College’s adult education program is to enable every adult learner ... to acquire the basic necessary skills - reading, writing, computation, speaking and listening to compete successfully in today’s workplace, strengthen family foundations and exercise full citizenship,” Phillips said. “Believing that learning is a life-long process, the adult education program dedicates itself to recognizing and developing the unique potential of all students.”
Many students older than 55 have successfully earned their GEDs through the program and have gone on to find full-time employment. The adult education program has hired many older workers over the years.
“They value the outstanding work ethic of the 55-plus worker and the years of experience from both previous jobs and life itself,” Phillips said. “Not only do they relate well with the younger students, they often ease the anxiety of the older students.”
Kathy Davis, lead instructor for the program, said she has enjoyed working with Legacy Link.
“We should be thanking them. It’s such a critical union we have together,” Davis said. “Legacy Link just provides excellent workers for us.”