U.S. Department of Labor Grant will support training and placement for 6,300 low-income workers age 55 and over
SILVER SPRING, Md., July 10, 2019 — Senior Service America, Inc. (SSAI) has been selected by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to administer the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) in 13 states. Through this $45.3 million grant, SSAI will provide a pathway to self-sufficiency for approximately 6,300 older workers who live at or near the poverty level.
SCSEP, a cornerstone program of the Older Americans Act, promotes personal dignity and self-sufficiency through work. Older workers bring much-needed experience, emotional intelligence, and generational diversity to our workplaces. They are also the most vulnerable to sustained periods of unemployment, underemployment, ageism, and skill obsolescence as technology changes how we work, where we work, and the skills we need to work.
“The need for those 55 and over to work is a matter of survival,” said Gary A. Officer, SSAI President, and CEO. “The reality for this population is that more than 60% of workers 55 and over do not have or are ineligible for a pension. They also suffer long-term unemployment, considered over 27 weeks, at a higher rate than young workers. The DOL SCSEP grant is critical to getting these workers trained and working. It helps resolve a significant hurdle to financial self-sufficiency.”
The SCSEP program taps a pool of talent that is critical to the long-term health of our economy. The US Department of Labor projects that older workers will represent the largest single segment—25%—of our labor force by 2024. Even now, the US is experiencing a significant labor gap with 7.6 million open positions but only 6.5 million individuals looking for work. SCSEP is the only federally funded program to support eligible workers age 55 and over with the training they need to enter or reenter the workforce.
SSAI has been a national partner with DOL since the Older Americans Act was enacted in 1965. Over that time, SSAI has trained more than 475,000 low-income older workers. Two-thirds of those participants were women, almost half were from a racial or ethnic minority, and nearly 65% are age 55-64. Veterans and qualified spouses of veterans are given first priority for enrollment into SCSEP.
For more information, please visit www.seniorserviceamerica.org.
Media Contact: SSAI.Press@ssa-i.org
About Senior Service America, Inc.
Senior Service America, Inc. (SSAI) is the only national organization dedicated exclusively to employment for low-income workers over age 50 in both the public and private sectors. During the last five decades, SSAI has partnered with more than 5,000 employers to train nearly half a million workers. Our services focus on adults who have been traditionally underserved by workforce development programs including older, low-income women, Veterans, and workers with records. For more information, please visit www.seniorserviceamerica.org.