Research & Reports


If enacted, the proposed FY2014 budget for SCSEP would result in 12,000 fewer jobs for low income unemployed older adults and a loss of 6.5 million hours of community service worth $144 million. Review our chart of estimated impact state-by-state.


An SSAI-sponsored survey by ProLiteracy showed that persons age 55+ are a growing proportion of adult literacy students (currently 12%). The most common courses were English as a second language (40%) and basic literacy (33%), but only 9% received basic computer training. One-fourth of older students were unemployed and seeking to improve their job skills. In contrast, older adults comprise one-half of the volunteers in these programs. Two-thirds of them were retired and 41% of the instructors were age 60+. Greater coordination of SCSEP with adult literacy programs would benefit participants who have low literacy while also tapping a potential pool of greatly needed older volunteers.

Low-income older workers can be an excellent match for direct care and home chore jobs.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – Institute on Aging

An SSAI-sponsored survey research study by the University of North Carolina indicates that between 14 and 32 percent of SCSEP participants would be interested in six different types of direct care and home chore service jobs. It concluded that employers in the burgeoning health care service industry would hire many more older workers who are qualified. The study’s responses from both employers and SCSEP participants also yielded new sets of job tasks reflecting four supportive care roles that would be particularly suited for older workers.

An SSAI-sponsored seven-state survey by the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging concluded that long-term care providers’ experiences as SCSEP host agencies were very positive. However, only 16% of non-profit and public providers were host agencies, largely because only 28% of them were aware of SCSEP. Awareness was even lower among for-profit providers. Expanded outreach to the long-term care industry could significantly improve awareness of SCSEP, promote more host agencies, and increase opportunities for SCSEP participants to find unsubsidized employment in this rapidly growing industry.

The Fiscal Cliff/Sequestration would mean nearly 6,500 fewer SCSEP participants and 3.5 million fewer hours of community service across the country. Review our analysis of the estimated state-by-state impact.


Senior Service America sponsored the Winter 2011 issue of the Gerontological Society of America’s Public Policy & Aging Report, which explores the uneven experiences of older workers during the first decade of the 21st century. Included in this 47-page issue are the following articles:

The Future for Older Workers: Good News or Bad? by Bob Harootyan and Tony Sarmiento, Senior Service America Inc.

Rising Demand for Older Workers Despite the Economic Recession: Accommodation and Universal Design for the New American Workforce, by Dr. Neeta P. Fogg and Dr. Paul E. Harrington, Drexel University Center for Labor Markets and Policy.

The Labor Market Experiences and Problems of America’s Low Income Older Workers in Recent Years, by Andrew Sum, Ishwar Khatiwada, and Mykhaylo Trubskyy, Northeastern University Center for Labor Market Studies.

Older Workers, The Great Recession, and The Impact of Long-Term Unemployment, by Dr. Carl E. Van Horn, Nicole Corre, and Maria Heidkamp, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Heldrich Center for Workforce Development.

Boomers Sail into Retirement–or Do They? By Dr. Sara E. Rix, AARP Public Policy Institute.

Promoting Employment and Community Service among Low-IncomeSeniors: The Successes and Challenges of the Senior Community Service Employment Program, by Dr. Judith G. Gonyea and Dr. Robert B. Hudson, Boston University School of Social Work.

Policymakers must have the most current and accurate information as they consider the future of the Community Service Employment for Older Adults (also known as the Senior Community Service Employment Program, or SCSEP), the only federal employment and training program mandated to assist low-income older workers. That is why we are providing this update and correction to assessments of SCSEP by the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Congressional Budget Office.

49 Organizations Request SCSEP Funding Increase

Various organizations

Statement of 49 organizations urging Congress and the White House to find a way to increase funding for SCSEP.


By Ishwar Khatiwada and Joseph McLaughlin, Center for Labor Market Studies, Northeastern University.

By the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) and SSAI.

By Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies, Northeastern University.

By Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies, Northeastern University.


By Sum, Khatiwada, McLaughlin, and Palma, Center for Labor Market Studies, Northeastern University.

Additional analyses commissioned by SSAI examined the perceived psychological and emotional benefit of participating in SCSEP, based on an independent survey of a national sample of over 8,000 SCSEP participants.


Additional analyses commissioned by SSAI examined the perceived psychological and emotional benefit of participating in SCSEP, based on an independent survey of a national sample of over 25,000 SCSEP participants.


Produced in partnership with the Center for Applied Linguistics, this guide offers practical advice, activities and resources to help make workplaces more supportive of older immigrants. Several organizations (including four leading national minority aging organizations) and individuals made significant contributions to this guide.

By Bob Levey (formerly of The Washington Post), this publication tells the stories of older low-income adults in Ohio whose SCSEP service makes them lynchpins of their communities.