News & Events

Concordia-Chicago and Ridgeland Block Club to host AARP workshop Sept. 23


Concordia-Chicago, along with their co-host, the Ridgeland Block Club, will offer a free Work for Yourself@50+℠ workshop at Mather Lifeways (33 E. 83rd Street, Chicago, IL, 60619) on Saturday morning, Sept. 23, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Call 888-339-5617 to register.

AARP Foundation has awarded a grant to Concordia University Chicago’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Center for Gerontology to conduct Work for Yourself@50+ workshops in the Chicago area. This national grant initiative is designed to help vulnerable older adults assess opportunities for self-employment, build skills, and connect with resources that will enable them to generate income by working for themselves.

CUC is one of the few educational institutions in the country to have dedicated community outreach centers in the fields of both gerontology and entrepreneurship. The Work for Yourself@50+ program will allow CUC to address the pressing need for entrepreneurship education for older adults in the region.

“For many older adults, self-employment and business ownership is an opportunity to change their future,” said Emily Allen, senior vice president for AARP Foundation Programs. “AARP Foundation is proud to work with organizations like Concordia University Chicago, The Village Chicago and Ridgeland Block Club Association that are committed to helping older adults successfully run their own business. Our Work for Yourself@50+ program is designed to enable older adults to pursue self-employment by connecting them with trustworthy resources in their own communities.”

“Concordia University Chicago’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is very pleased to have this opportunity to partner with CUC’s Center for Gerontology, The Village Chicago, Ridgeland Block Club Association and the AARP Foundation to provide these free, highly beneficial entrepreneurship workshops to the Chicagoland area. People 55 to 65 are the only age group with rising rates of entrepreneurship, and twice as many successful entrepreneurs are over 50 than under 25,” stated Dr. Claudia Santin, dean of CUC’s College of Business.

“The Ridgeland Block Club Association is excited to be working with Concordia-Chicago’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Center for Gerontology, The Village Chicago, and the AARP Foundation to help older adults learn to generate income by working for themselves,” said Benjamin Handy, president, Ridgeland Block Club Association.

Through a nationwide open request for proposals, AARP Foundation, with support from The Hartford, identified and selected promising organizations in high-need communities to receive grant awards and implement the Work for Yourself@50+ workshop model. The workshops help adults 50 and older understand the pros and cons of self-employment and support them through the early steps that can lead to success.

The free Work for Yourself@50+ workshop will take place at Mather Lifeways (33 E. 83rd Street, Chicago, IL, 60619) on Saturday, Sept. 23, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Call 888-339-5617 to register. For additional information, visit

“The Hartford is excited to work together with AARP Foundation on the Work for Yourself@50+ program, empowering mature adults to build on their potential and to prevail as independent entrepreneurs,” said Diane Cantello, head of Corporate Sustainability for The Hartford. “Self-employment creates small businesses that contribute to the stability and vitality of their local communities.”

Working with AARP Foundation, each grantee will put together a plan in its community to:

  • Publicize Work for Yourself@50+ resources and workshops to potential entrepreneurs;
  • Host and facilitate a 120-minute introductory workshop, designed by AARP Foundation, to walk participants through the Work for Yourself@50+ materials; and
  • Connect program participants with local, accessible resources to help them take action on their income-generation plans.

Creating and owning a business has long been heralded as a path to financial success and economic mobility; older adults, however, face unique hurdles when re-entering the workforce in a nontraditional capacity. AARP Foundation’s and The Hartford’s investment in these grantees seeks to improve the lives of vulnerable populations by supporting and advancing effective solutions.

To learn more about the Work for Yourself@50+ initiative, please visit or call 888-339-5617 to receive a free toolkit and sign up for a local workshop.

About AARP Foundation

AARP Foundation works to ensure that vulnerable older adults have nutritious food, affordable housing, a steady income, and strong and sustaining social bonds. We collaborate with individuals and organizations who share our commitment to innovation and our passion for problem-solving. Supported by vigorous legal advocacy, we create and advance effective solutions that help struggling older adults transform their lives. AARP Foundation is the affiliated charity of AARP.

About The Hartford

The Hartford is a leader in property and casualty insurance, group benefits and mutual funds. With more than 200 years of expertise, The Hartford is widely recognized for its service excellence, sustainability practices, trust and integrity. More information on the company and its financial performance is available at Follow The Hartford on Twitter at

The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., (NYSE: HIG) operates through its subsidiaries under the brand name, The Hartford, and is headquartered in Hartford, Conn. For additional details, please read The Hartford’s legal notice at

About Ridgeland Block Club Association

The Ridgeland Block Club Association sees the need to take a proactive role in building institutions that support current seniors and those who are aging into senior status on the South Side of Chicago. The association hopes to play an important part in halting population loss and building more caring and connected neighborhoods.

About The Village Chicago

The Village Chicago ( is an innovative, not-for-profit membership community that helps members navigate the new longevity by connecting them to each other and to trusted resources that support vibrant, secure later lives. Among the many programs for adults 50+ is Life 3.0 – a series of workshops and events that support exploration of the “what’s next?” life transition. This is just one of the many ways in which the Village leverages the talents, wisdom and skills of older people, making us an important asset to each other and to our communities, and a model for the future.