Older adults to work and receive training in local agencies serving the community

Catholic Charities Worcester County announced that it was awarded a grant of $751,523 from Senior Service America, Inc. Almost 90 percent of this grant – originally from the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) – will pay wages and benefits to at least 112 low-income older adults living in Worcester and Franklin Counties. These older adults will participate in the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) a major program of the Older Americans Act which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Administered by USDOL, SCSEP is the only federal government program mandated to assist unemployed older adults seeking to rejoin the workforce.

“We are very pleased to continue our support of Catholic Charities Worcester County for the 38th consecutive year,” said Tony Sarmiento, Senior Service America Executive Director. Catholic Charities Worcester County has received this annual SCSEP grant since 1977. “The Senior Employment Program enables the participants to bridge a financial gap,” said Catherine Loeffler, Executive Director of Catholic Charities. Through no fault of their own, our participants may find themselves in dire financial circumstances. This program enables older adults to receive training, develop new skills and improve their self-confidence. This will enable them to return to the workplace,” continued Ms. Loeffler.

While employed as SCSEP participants, the older workers are assigned to 30 local community, faith-based, and public agencies, including Historic Deerfield, Centro Las Americas, Christopher House, and the Worcester Senior Center. The older workers receive on-the-job training to enhance their opportunities in the local job market.

“Many low-income older adults want and need paid work, says Tony Sarmiento, Senior Service America Executive Director. “By serving their community, older workers receive renewed skills as well as renewed hope. Older Bay Staters are fortunate to be given the opportunity through SCSEP and the dedicated staff of Catholic Charities Worcester County.”