Rural Seniors Face Additional
Barriers to Employment
More than 75% of Experience Works operations are in rural areas. Seniors in rural communities face additional barriers to employment. Experience Works SCSEP program is especially suited to assist low-income seniors in rural areas.
Lack of Transportation
In March of 2005, 60-year-old David Carey was living in a homeless shelter and had no transportation except a decrepit bicycle. Experience Works staff assigned him to the Salvation Army Thrift Store. At the same time, he was referred to the county welfare office where he was eligible for assistance in obtaining a vehicle from their program. With a car, recent work experience, and newfound self-confidence, it wasn’t long before he landed a full-time job with the Days Inn in Danville, PA.
Lack of Job Opportunities
Jim Neuzil, 66, suffers blindness in his right eye and has limited sight in the left eye. He was assigned to the Journey Museum in Rapid City, SD, where he is training as a museum aide. According to his supervisor, “Jim has grown from the basic Word program to the point where he can produce the most elaborate posters, tickets, and newsletters.” The skills he is learning at the museum will be key to him securing regular employment at the museum or at another organization that will welcome his skills, experience, and positive work ethic.
Eighty-year-old Luella Ross always wanted to be a teacher and to help children. She joined the Pioneer Settlement for the Creative Arts in Barberville, FL, as an SCSEP participant, and learned how to apply her knowledge of African American culture and history to the children’s education programs there. This led to her current full-time job as a teacher’s aide and resident expert on African American life and home remedies and medicines of the early 1900s.
Lack of Training Facilities
Loretta Handlin, 75, worked 20 years in furniture upholstery plants. Along the way she overcame hip-replacement surgery and blindness in one eye. Her employment plan at Experience Works called for clerical updating, so she was assigned to the Employment Security Commission where she quickly gained skills in data entry, office equipment, and customer service. With these newly acquired skills and solid work experience, she was able to find a poistion at Creative Label Solutions in Newton, NC. Her supervisor says she is training new employees and serves as a mentor to her colleagues.
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