The Senior Community Service Employment Program is a community service and work-based training program for older workers. It provides subsidized, part-time, community service training for unemployed, low-income persons 55 or older who have poor employment prospects. Through this program, older workers have access to SCSEP services and to additional employment and training assistance through American Job Centers.
SCSEP participants are placed in a wide variety of community service activities at non-profit and public facilities, including day-care centers, senior centers, schools and hospitals. These community service training assignments promote self-sufficiency, provide assistance to organizations that benefit from increased civic engagement, and support communities. These assignments are intended to serve as a bridge to unsubsidized employment. In turn, regional economies and businesses benefit from an expanded pool of experienced, dependable labor in the local workforce.
- Subsidized community service assignments are provided in public and non-profit agencies, allowing these agencies to enhance and provide needed services to the community while older workers to gain job skills. Program participants work an average of 20 hours a week and are paid the highest of the federal, state, or local minimum wage.
- Participant services include Individual Employment Plan development, orientation, community service placement, training specific to an individual’s community service assignment, and other training as necessary. Supportive services, annual physicals, assistance in securing unsubsidized employment, and access to local American Job Centers are also available.
Eligible Participants. Program participants must be at least 55 and have a family income of no more than 125 percent of the federal poverty level. Enrollment priority is given to individuals who are veterans, are over age 65, have a disability, have limited English proficiency or low literacy skills, reside in a rural area, have low employment prospects, or are homeless or at risk for homelessness. Individual participation is limited to 48 months, unless an extension is authorized based on statutory requirements. SCSEP serves over 60,000 seniors annually.
Authorizing Legislation. SCSEP is authorized in Title V of the Older Americans Act to provide paid, part-time, community service employment for unemployed, low-income seniors with poor employment prospects. New SCSEP regulations were issued in 2010.
Program Funding. SCSEP’s appropriation for 2014 at $434,371,000. Twenty-two percent of the funds are allocated among the states and territories by formula; 78 percent are provided to fifteen national organizations that compete to provide services. Grantees must provide a 10 percent non-federal match. To maximize resources for older workers, SCSEP grantees have established agreements with other service providers such as American Job Centers, the private sector, educational organizations, and adult literacy agencies.
Federal Project Officers
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