When the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) awarded our first grant in 1968, we awarded subgrants to 11 local organizations in nine states and the District of Columbia to provide employment to 400 low-income older adults. We have continued to operate SCSEP exclusively through local partners. This year, through our 65 subgrantees, over 7,200 disadvantaged seniors will serve their communities in 437 counties spread over 13 states.
While many of our partners are based in high-density urban areas, over 60 percent serve multi-county rural regions. Their work with low-income older adults in sparsely populated areas has become more challenging since SCSEP’s early roots as a pilot program for displaced farmers over four decades ago. SSAI continues to seek new ways to strengthen the well-being and independence of vulnerable older adults in rural and frontier communities as well as in cities.
At our 2009 annual conference, Jane Oates, assistant secretary of DOL’s Employment and Training Administration, said:
SSAI and its subgrantees continue to serve as a key partner to the Department of Labor providing SCSEP services to the hardest-to-serve communities since 1968…. I commend you on your dedication to excellence in meeting the needs of the older worker community.
Read about how one of our partners helped build its agency with SCSEP participants.