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40Plus also known as 40 Plus, 40+, Forty Plus or FortyPlus is a United States-based non-profit organization that helps professionals, managers and executives make career transitions and find employment. Historically, membership was limited to persons over 40, but some chapters have opened their ranks to experienced professionals of all ages. 40Plus chapters provide job search training programs, networking opportunities, and other resources to members. Members come from all sectors of the economy, including private businesses, non-profit organizations, educational institutions and government. Many people with technical and professional expertise do not receive outplacement counseling when they lose their jobs, and 40Plus chapters have helped to fill that gap for many individuals.

40Plus is a national organization, but each[1] chapter is an independent, member-run, all-volunteer, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. The Washington, D.C., chapter alone claims to have been instrumental in getting jobs for over 8,000 of their members over the last fifty years.

The mission of 40Plus "is to facilitate and support career transitions for people with substantial business or professional experience through training and volunteer experience."[2] A secondary mission is "for educating the public and the business community on the value of maturity, experience, knowledge and judgement in the work place."[3]


40Plus was established in 1939 by Henry Simler, an executive with the Remington Rand company.[4] He created a "40 Plus Committee" at New York City's Sales Executive Club to help the many over-forty executives he knew who were having difficulties finding jobs. Serving as a job clearinghouse and mutual support group, the club soon became an independent organization, while the concept spread to cities throughout the U.S. The first chapter was organized in Boston, and the second in New York City.[5]

In the 1940s and 1950s, chapters were formed in more than 20 cities around the United States, as well as in Canada, Britain, France and southern Africa. Many of those chapters later went out of existence.[6]

Over the years, 40Plus chapters garnered lots of media attention, in part because they had the unusual mission of losing their members by helping them find full-time professional or executive jobs.[7][8]

In its early decades, 40Plus chapters tended to have only male members,[9] but as more women entered the professional workforce that practice changed. An unusual feature of 40Plus is that chapters are run entirely or almost entirely on the donated labor of members rather than paid staff.

In 2008, chapters of 40Plus were active in Washington, D.C., New York City, Columbus, Ohio. In 2017, the Milwaukee Chapter continues to actively help others with no cost to its members. The Milwaukee group celebrated 40 years in Milwaukee of community service in 2016. www.40pluswi.org Milwaukee,Wisc.[10]

An active chapter in the nation's capitol, 40Plus of Greater Washington celebrates its 65th year of service to the community in 2018 while continuing to deliver the 4 week training program, a free weekly speaker program and monthly networking events (for a small fee). [11]

A book was published discussing middle aged career hunting techniques and advice much of which was obtained from Forty Plus of New York by E. Patricia Birsner titled The 40+ Job Hunting Guide: The Official Handbook of the 40+Club.[12]

The organization is recommended by Richard Nelson Bolles in his book, What Color Is Your Parachute.[13]

Robert K. Otterbourg, in his book Kiplinger's Retire & Thrive, Fourth Edition: How More Than 50 People Redefined Their Retirement Lifestyles (Kiplinger's Personal Finance), refers to the Forty Plus organization as a valuable resource.[14]

The National Council of Negro Women recommends 40Plus in their book, Tomorrow Begins Today: African American Women As We Age.[15]

Jan Cannon's book for women looking to start up a new career Now What Do I Do?: The Woman's Guide to a New Career (Capital Ideas for Business & Personal Development) suggests 40Plus.[16]

The New York organization's first Advisory Board included well-known business and societal leaders of the period, including Thomas J. Watson, president and founder of IBM; James Cash Penney, founder of J.C. Penney & Co.; Arthur Godfrey, the radio and TV personality; and Norman Vincent Peale, a minister, inspirational speaker, and author of "The Power of Positive Thinking."[17]

Mayor Michael B. Coleman of Columbus Ohio recognized Forty Plus for supporting over 2000 experienced professionals in successful job search, career change or career advancement on the occasion of the Columbus chapter's 20th anniversary.[18]


Weekly Meeting and Speakers

40Plus groups hold weekly meetings which are usually free and open to the public. Each meeting features a speaker who covers topics of interest to those who are involved in or contemplating a job search or career change. The meetings offer members and visitors several opportunities to network with other job seekers. There is usually a special orientation meeting for first-time visitors.


40Plus offers a training course that addresses everything from job loss to career changes. Each class has two unique facilitators during each session who have been through the program themselves. The course focuses on learning how to summarize one's experiences in short "Success Bites" that are used to prepare winning resumes, write attention-getting cover letters, project confidence at job interviews, and network successfully. Attendees learn how to deliver an effective "elevator speech" or what 40Plus calls the TMAY, the answer to the question, Tell Me About Yourself. Other topics in the training include: setting job-hunting goals, searching for work on the Internet, developing networking strategies, videotaping practice job interviews, and negotiating salary and benefits.

Job Clubs

After the course ends, each class becomes a job club and provides ongoing support. Most job clubs meet weekly. Members discuss their job searches and share sources, leads and contacts. Job clubs provide mutual support and reinforcement that keep members focused and energized.


Until they land a new position, 40Plus members are asked to contribute eight hours in volunteer work each week to the organization. Volunteer work makes 40Plus a viable organization and helps keep costs and fees low. It also enables members to build new credentials, gain skills, and provides networking opportunities.

Networking Events and Resources

Professionals who have completed the training become members and are eligible for access to member only Internet resources related to the job search as well as office facilities from which to conduct their job search. In addition members are invited to a number of member-only networking events throughout the year.


  1. ^ 40Plus website see links section
  2. ^ From the 40Plus of Greater Washington Website
  3. ^ Forty Plus of Central Ohio Mission Statement
  4. ^ New York Times obituary of Henry Simler, June 27, 1954. "Henry Simler, 78, Is Dead on Coast"
  5. ^ New York Times, Jan. 20, 1939
  6. ^ archives of Forty Plus of New York City
  7. ^ San Francisco Chronicle, May 6, 1940, "Men Over 40 Only Wanted -- And Then Not For Very Long", Wall Street Journal, October 22, 1969: "Forty Plus: A Self-Help Group for Jobless Executives"
  8. ^ New York Times, Jan. 26, 1941, "Job Club Rejoices at Low Membership," New York Times, Feb. 20, 1951 "It's One for All and All for One in Job-Hunt Club for Men Over 40", New York Times, Aug. 21, 1958 "40-Plus Club Ignores Recession"
  9. ^ New York Times, Feb. 20, 1951
  10. ^ Source: e-mail communications from those chapters to 40Plus of Greater Washington, March 2008
  11. ^ Source: 40Plus of Greater Washington website and annual appeal, November 2017
  12. ^ Birsner, E. Patricia (1987). The 40+ Job Hunting Guide: Official Handbook of the 40+Club. ARCO Books. p. 250. ISBN 0-13-329152-9. 
  13. ^ Bolles, Richard Nelson (2007). What Color Is Your Parachute? A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers (2001 Edition). Ten Speed Pr. p. 371. ISBN 1-58008-242-4. 
  14. ^ Otterbourg, Robert K. (2006). Kiplinger's Retire & Thrive, Fourth Edition: How More Than 50 People Redefined Their Retirement Lifestyles. Kaplan Business. p. 280. ISBN 1-4195-3823-3. 
  15. ^ National Council of Negro Women (2006). Tomorrow Begins Today: African American Women As We Age. National Council of Negro Women. p. 376. ISBN 0-9765400-0-2. 
  16. ^ Jan D. Cannon, PhD (2005). Now What Do I Do?: The Woman's Guide to a New Career (Capital Ideas for Business & Personal Development). Capital Books. p. 224. ISBN 1-931868-99-9. 
  17. ^ "About Us", Forty Plus of New York City
  18. ^ Citation of Recognition to Forty Plus of Central Ohio, 1 May 2002

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