National Council on Aging to Create Jobs for Older Americans Through Labor Department Stimulus Funds
Last update: 4:48 p.m. EDT April 1, 2009
WASHINGTON, Apr 01, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) — The National Council on Aging (NCOA) began an ambitious program today to create more jobs for low income older workers in several states, thanks to $6.9 million in stimulus funding from the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) under the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).
Part of the American Recovery and Investment Act, the funds were awarded to NCOA because of its decades of successfully training people age 55 and over for community service work under the SCSEP program. NCOA has been responsible for training and placement of 20,000 thousand people since the program began in 1969.
Currently, NCOA operates programs in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, New Jersey, California and Tennessee, New York, North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana.
"These challenging economic times require aggressive action and the SCSEP stimulus funding allows NCOA to galvanize our employment program," said Workforce Development Vice President Sandra Nathan. "We are very grateful for and excited about this opportunity to help older adults keep their dignity, get a job and get a paycheck."
The unemployment rate for older people has surged, according to a March 2009 Urban Institute Report, a challenging reality for seniors who face the intractable challenge of less time to keep their lives intact, as their resources decline. Under the DOL grant, NCOA will train at least 590 low income older adults (based on an income that is 125% of the federal poverty level) in community service jobs through the SCSEP program. An innovative and cost-effective federal program, SCSEP allows individuals to develop the skills needed to find private employment while earning a modest income.
NCOA anticipates far exceeding the 590 jobs required under the grant – training as many as 1000 older adults. In addition, NCOA expects to find over 1,000 jobs for older workers in 2009 with its existing grant.
Since first working with SCSEP in the late 1960s, NCOA has honed its expertise in the program and established a network of offices nationwide, providing the means to make the most out of the SCSEP grant under the stimulus package. "This is a chance to make a difference when people are really hurting, when they need jobs more than ever," Nathan said. "NCOA’s mission is to improve the lives of older people, and we want to help as many people as possible."
Under the SCSEP program participants are productive and independent, earning as they’re learning. As they train for jobs, they contribute their talents and services to their communities in a variety of ways – as child care providers, customer service representatives, teachers’ aids, and job developers, and more. In addition, NCOA provides special trainings for participants, where they can learn computer technology, light home-builder trades, and health care. For more information visit NCOA’s SCSEP program site or call Valdes Snipes-Bennett at 202.479.6677.
The National Council on Aging is a non-profit service and advocacy organization headquartered in Washington, DC. NCOA is a national voice for older Americans – especially those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged – and the community organizations that serve them. It brings together non-profit organizations, businesses and government to develop creative solutions that improve the lives of all older adults. NCOA works with thousands of organizations across the country to help seniors find jobs and benefits, improve their health, live independently and remain active in their communities. For more information, visit www.ncoa.org.