Seniors face unique challenges when looking for a job. The AARP Foundation's Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) helps low income, unemployed seniors become competitive in the job market.
Those in the program are placed in assignments with a host agency. Host agencies include nonprofits, daycares and public agencies.
“They can train, learn new skills and brush up on their old skills and really build that confidence and get that hope to obtain a job and exit from the program,” said Elexia Torres, AARP Foundation regional manager.
The process of finding a job has evolved in recent years. SCSEP gives workers hope for their next step by serving as a liaison between them and their host agency, as well as a potential employer.
For potential employers, working with those in the SCSEP can help provide them with mature, experienced workers.
“It’s a great way to be able to support the community,” Torres said. “We pay the wages, so we provide them with a dependable, great workforce to help them achieve their goals for their organization and their mission. You’re really changing their lives one job at a time and helping pull our seniors out of poverty.”
SCSEP experiences often lead to permanent employment.
“We’re building and helping our 55 and over folks to feel wanted and needed because so many of them desire to continue to provide in the workforce,” Torres said.
Torres says one of her favorite success stories is of a woman who had just moved into a homeless shelter. She had a great desire to work and change her future. Her host agency called the AARP Foundation within three weeks of her placement to express their satisfaction and hire the woman full-time.
For more information on SCSEP, visit the AARP Foundation website.