I am always proud to lead Oasis and be part of an organization with deep ties to our communities, especially as the leadership team has been working on a strategic plan following our 40th anniversary. The “Build the Future” plan focuses on several significant trends. Over the next four decades, the anticipated average American lifespan will extend well beyond 100 years. Advances in medicine and our understanding of the impact of lifestyle choices will add years of vitality to this long lifespan. At the same time, we will see a shift in the median age of Americans, meaning that by 2034, adults over 65 will outnumber children 18 and under. This shifting distribution of age ranges is already resulting in a shrinking of the American workforce, and this trend will likely outpace efficiencies gained through technological advancement. Similarly problematic is that older Americans are more likely to be alienated by swift technological advances in their personal lives and the workplace.
The Oasis “Build the Future” approach to an aging America will address these trends and challenges directly. We are expanding our technology literacy curriculum to include relevant workforce development resources that will help older adults navigate an increasingly virtual job search process, develop the basic skills needed to thrive in a modern work environment, and enable older adults experiencing income insecurity to find meaningful work and meet the needs of employers during a time of increasing workforce scarcity. Oasis will be expanding our intergenerational volunteer opportunities, building a much larger literacy tutoring cohort of volunteers, and we will develop a math and STEM tutoring program to complement our work in childhood literacy and mentorship.
Oasis will continue our focus on community-based health improvement in partnership with BJC Community Health Improvement locally and with a diverse set of partners nationwide. A longer life needs to be a healthier life, a purposeful life, and a life filled with social connections. Oasis is preparing for the next 40 years of work to improve older adults’ lives and our community more broadly by positioning older adults as solutions to challenges in the workplace, in education, and for our overburdened healthcare system.
Thank you for believing in our mission and for your steadfast support. Your partnership is essential as we build the future.
Paul Weiss, PhD
President | Oasis Institute