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Jobs for Senior Citizens in Saint Ignace, Michigan
Overview of jobs tailored for seniors in Saint Ignace, Michigan, highlighting benefits and challenges in each job. Saint Ignace has unique opportunities for the age group where many folks choose to head south and retire to the golf course.
The first set of jobs I'll highlight are from the world famous Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan. This luxury resort complex hires hundreds of young workers on a seasonal basis. Because the Island community has a limited amount of space for residents, some of the older hotels were converted into dormitories for their workers. In fact, shortly after assuming duties as President (from his dad,) young Dan Musser built and modernized some new dormitories for the workers, giving them increased space and bathroom facilities. (Actually, "Danny" Musser, like me, is heading toward the half-century mark in age himself, but he was a college kid when I worked at hotel 1981-1984!) Youthful and energetic college age workers are notorious for their summer partying, shenanigans, and high spirited behavior during off-duty hours. The Grand Hotel has a vested interest in the safety and health of their workers (and the buildings in which they reside!) and the rowdy antics of young employees can disturb guests, other workers, and Island residents during the late-night hours. In addition to the Security Department, where I worked, House Parents are tasked to help supervise these employees. The benefits of the job include lodging on Mackinac Island, which is a highly attractive tourist destination. There's a weekly stipend for these people, and the job was always reserved for older women and couples. Irene King, now deceased, was a famous house-mother of the 1970's-1980's. Living at the "Twilight," one of the more highly visible resident halls right downtown near the boat docks, Irene ran things with an iron fist. Quiet hours began around 11 p.m. and she strictly enforced the rules for her residents! Although Irene (and other house parents) put a damper on many parties in the employee quarters, I was always grateful for them. As a shift worker, I was often distrubed by my neighbors and their nightly social events. These jobs demand a fairly forceful personality, good communication skills, and the ability to interact with the dorm residents, as well as hotel managers and security. Because motorized vehicles are restricted on Mackinac Island, senior citizens working these jobs should be fairly mobile, although the residents and businesses do cater to those with physical limitations. The job requires the ability to climb the stairs of the residence halls. (No age limits. Maturity is a benefit here.)
The Community Action Agency (CAA) is Mackinac County's center for senior programs. They organize community luncheons during the week, deliver meals to the homebound, assist with taxes, and offer routine social events for area residents. Additionally, they distribute bulk food commodities for senior residents. This organization offers year-around employment, on a part-time basis, for many senior citizens. Some jobs are reserved for volunteers only, but other jobs offer regular paychecks. Because of the limited hours and funding for jobs, the majority of Meals on Wheels drivers (all of them at Press Time) are senior citizens. There is another job, available when funding allows, for a bus driver. This transportation bus is reserved for senior citizens traveling around the area during the day. These jobs require a current drivers license, your own vehicle, good driving skills and sense of navigation, and the ability to walk from your car to the senior citizens' homes in order to deliver the meals. The bus driver jobs require drivers licenses with additional certification for transporting passengers. In some cases, an assistant is provided in order to help deliver the meals. CAA's charter is for serving eldery area residents; therefore, they tend to support some of the physical/mental challenges experienced by aging seniors. The interaction with people of their own age group within the community makes these jobs desirable for many area elders. These jobs are most appropriate for seniors in the 60-75 year group, although older people have successfully maintined employment with Community Action. Driving ability is the major limiting factor. Although the roads here are uncrowded, the challenge of winter driving precludes some seniors from applying for these jobs. Upper Peninsula Commission for Area Progress (UPCAP) established the six original Community Action Agencies in the Upper Peninsula. Funding related to UPCAP allows Community Action to provide or refer seniors regular employment and training opportunities. Check out my links for further information.
Star Line, Arnold Line, and Sheppler's Ferry Services transport thousands of people to and from Mackinac Island, Michigan. There are five docking areas in town, although two are used for limited runs during peak season, or for transporting freight. These ferry lines often employ senior citizens for the positions related to ticket sales, tourist information, and supervising younger employees. My own son worked with Star Line at the age of 14, employed as a "greeter." Because of his age and proximity to the water and boats, he was required to be supervised (in view) by another employee at all times. A wonderful, elderly gentleman named Tony worked with Vincent all through the 2020 summer season. Tony's job (like the others) required him to be posted in an entrance booth, at the Star Line's parking area, located along the main avenue (State Street) in Saint Ignace. This is a full-time job, and offers unemployment benefits in the off season. The job requires very limited moving around, although Tony was fit and spry. Communication skills, ability to do math, running a till, making change, use credit processing machinery, ability to use the telephone, and supervisory skills are essential for this position. With boat tickets at around $20 round trip, a large amount of money transfers hands in this job. A highly intelligent and personable man, Tony was adept in his position and Vin enjoyed working with him. Vin's job was extremely boring, requiring long hours in between the various boat arrivals and departures. His conversations and interaction with Tony helped him immensely. Further, Tony was able to provide advice and a mature eye, when the tourists' questions became too challenging or demanding. This is a great job for seniors who value interaction with a wide variety of customers, many of whom travel from all over the world to visit Mackinac Island. It can be boring as well, so the ability to maintain concentration is essential. (There is no limit in age for these jobs, so long as the duties can be completed accurately.)
Saint Ignace boasts a large number of senior residents. One of the private enterprises owned and operated by area seniors is a store located on the Main Arnold Line Ferry Dock (in the city center) called "A Touch of Craft." Here, seniors sell beautiful craft items to tourists during the summer months. Senior citizens make the gifts, run the store, and distribute the profits. Many of the sales benefit local charities, but the special thing about this store is highlighting the ability of area seniors. When I'm invited to a baby shower, I make this place my first stop. The sale items are all unique, reasonable priced, and many lovely baby booties, blankets, and caps are included in the offerings. There's no age limits for this job, and homebound seniors can still contribute their craft items for sale. The workers must be able to run a till and make change, but most of the customers are patient and understanding.
Other jobs in the area include restaurant greeters, retail sales, and reception jobs. Because of its seasonal nature, many of these jobs are not lucrative for young or middle-aged adults. There's one organization that hires a large number of workers on a year round basis, reserving some of their jobs for tribal elders only: The Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. At the local casino, tribal health (Lambert Center), and community center, regular employment is offered for seniors. Although these jobs can vary, some are related to the complimentary casino tokens, customer service, and greeter jobs. Public speaking, organizational skills, and the ability to run cashier/credit processing equipment is often required. Sometimes, using a computer is essential, although training is provided. These jobs are offered on a part-time as well as full-time basis, some with regular benefit packages. Check out my links for direct access to the Tribal Website. Once you access the site, look for the employment opportunities link under the subcategory of Human Relations, on the left side of the screen.
Most of us recognize the senior citizens employed at area Walmart Stores, since they greet us as we walk into the place! But it's not just Walmart that recognizes the potential benefits related to employing those with a little silver on top. The jobs I've described include many where I've personally enjoyed the benefits related to working with senior citizens. Good luck on your potential job hunt!