Senior Community Service Employment ProgramMichele Hollins, Program Director
The Senior Community Service Employment Program began as part of the War on Poverty 40 years ago and was so successful that it became a national program under the Older Americans Act in 1973. It is referred to by its acronym – SCSEP (pronounced SEE-sep) – and operates in nearly every county in the nation. To participate in SCSEP, a person must be:
- Age 55 or older;
- Legally eligible to work in the United States;
- Living in a household with income no more than 125 percent of the federal poverty level.
By law, SCSEP gives special attention to those who are any of the following;
- Are 65 years of age or older;
- Have a disability;
- Have limited English proficiency or low literacy skills;
- Reside in a rural area;
- Are a veteran;
- Have low employment prospects;
- Are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
SCSEP participants are paid minimum wage while they gain marketable job skills working part-time in a non-profit and public organizations, including senior centers, schools, and libraries. The program provides a win-win for participants and their communities: Participants help community organizations extend their reach and capabilities, while developing their own job skills, self-confidence, and a restored sense of self-worth.
The GMN SCSEP program is funded by a grant from the Department of Labor, through Senior Service America, Inc. of Silver Spring Maryland. Link to the SSA website is www.ssa-i.org.