Shift is a nonprofit networking organization in Minneapolis. The programs it offers to help people make midlife career transitions include monthly speakers, workshops, small-group discussions and opportunities for "midternships" (midlife internships). A "time bank" lets members swap volunteer time for services. Membership costs $60 a year.
Empowered is a new online retraining school aimed at boomers. The for-profit company is scheduled to launch this summer and, in September, to begin yearlong educational programs in 10 fields, including health care management, web design, financial planning and college counseling. A joint effort of partners from Silicon Valley, the entertainment industry and the University of California-Los Angeles Extension, Empowered is based in Los Gatos, Calif., and will be opening a second location in St. Louis Park, but will deliver courses to students all over the country via iPad. Graduates earn a UCLA extension certificate (most courses don't require a college degree). Tuition will be about $10,000.
Encore Careers offers loads of information and other resources for people seeking midlife careers that "combine purpose, passion and a paycheck." Operated by a think tank called Civic Ventures -- whose founder and CEO is Marc Freedman, author of "The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife" (PublicAffairs, 2011) -- Encore's services include lots of step-by-step guidance and career advice on its website, online discussion groups, job listings, community college partnerships, and the Purpose Prize: a $100,000 award for social innovators over age 60.