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The Senior Community Service Employment Program

About the Program

The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) is a federal program authorized under the Older Americans Act and funded through Congressional appropriations. The SCSEP assists low-income, unemployed people 55 years of age or older who meet specific income and residence eligibility requirements.  As stated in the Older Americans Act, the “purpose of the SCSEP is to foster individual economic self-sufficiency, promote useful, part-time training opportunities in meaningful community service assignments, and increase the number of older persons who may obtain unsubsidized employment in the public or the private sector.”

A Dual Mission

The SCSEP has a dual mission – community service and employment. For clients, it is a short-term time limited program that serves as a bridge to opportunities for individuals who need assistance updating their skills for the 21st century workforce. Through the various aspects of the program, Experience Works help clients determine their training, employment and personal goals, help them develop a plan on how they will achieve those goals, and identify services and supports they may need to be successful. Clients receive the minimum wage for the time they are assigned or in training – typically around 20 hours per week. We work closely with clients to determine how they can successfully transition off the program to a job in their local community. To that end, we develop job options for our clients by communicating with employers to learn about their current and future job openings and we marketing the advantages of an intergenerational workforce where the skills and positive attributes of older individuals contribute to the business’ success. If you are interested in applying for the SCSEP, click here.

The second part of the mission – community service – is what makes the SCSEP unique among other employment and training programs.  Community service partners known as host agencies join with us to identify the roles and responsibilities at their agencies they need to provide, but don’t have the staff resources. Through the SCSEP clients who would have goals that require skills and experience that match agency’s needs, are assigned to acquire those skills, receive supervision, and gain experience while performing duties. While clients learn new skills, build confidence and become provide valuable services on their assignment under the supervision of their Host Agency supervisor, Experience Works pays their wages and associated payroll benefits. The host agencies where clients are assigned benefit from the services they provide and increase their ability to deliver community services. The opportunity to collaborate with community partners to enhance services in local areas by providing older workers with the chance to use their lifetime of wisdom and work ethic is one of the great hallmarks of the SCSEP and why it has been such a popular program throughout its 50 year history. If you are interested learning more about becoming a host agency, click here.

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