SCSEP is the only federal job training program focused exclusively on helping low-income seniors. The program promotes personal dignity and self-sufficiency through work. People 55 and older who qualify for the program work in their local communities.
The return-on-investment from the community service component alone is 2-to-1, and far beyond that for the participants themselves – whether measured by their sense of well-being, sense of engagement, or the transformative power of supporting oneself by unsubsidized employment.
The Senior Community Service Employment Program is an investment, not a cost. This federal investment provides millions of community-service hours nationally (27 million in PY2015), plus accrues the value of a more skilled labor, improved physical and mental health among many of the older adults who participate in the program, and the benefits (including tax revenue) from the unsubsidized wages attained by more than half the participants.
- The Senior Community Service Employment Program is indispensable to the health of local communities across the country because it invests in the well-being of unemployed older Americans 55 and older, who in turn work and provide service to their communities, pay additional taxes, spend wages in their community, strengthen their job skills, and - in over half the cases - secure unsubsidized employment.
- The program drives both economic health and the individual health of participants because during their time in the program, large majorities of participants report the same or improved physical health and mental well-being – one of the major goals of the Older Americans Act.
Who can participate?
Program eligibility requires family incomes at or below 125% of the federal poverty level ($15,075 or less per year for a family of one). There are 120 spaces available for South Carolina participants.
- During the course of a program year, employment (unsubsidized) is secured for approximately 48 % of the participants
- Eighty percent (80%) of the participants retain their employment at least 12 months
- Training periods average 36 months