The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) is the only federally funded program that targets older individuals 55 years and older who want to enter or reenter the workforce.  SCSEP provides part-time subsidized work experience through community service assignments before transitioning program participants to unsubsidized employment.  To be eligible for the SCSEP project program participants must be at least 55 years old, have a family income of no more than 125% of the federal poverty level, and considered not job ready.  SCSEP provides a significant source of work experience, skilled training, supportive services, and placement and employment opportunities to the participants

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.


Available Services  

  • 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.  SCSEP Final Rule was issued in 2010 and the Performance Accountability Final Rule was issued in 2018.


Program Funding. SCSEP’s appropriation for FY18 is $400,000,000.  Twenty-two percent of the funds are allocated among the states and territories by formula; 78 percent are provided to nineteen 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

See the related content of the communication protocol to review the current list of SCSEP FPOs


Official Website