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Work Programs Empowering Older Adults

Preparing older adults for today’s job market through digital training and upskilling.


spinner image Group Of Retired Seniors Attending IT Class In Community Centre With Teacher

Older adults face higher unemployment rates and more barriers to good jobs in today’s market, from age discrimination to a lack of confidence in their digital skills. Obstacles to well-paying, secure jobs can unfairly prevent adults over 50 from earning a living wage and participating in their local economies. 

For more than 60 years, AARP Foundation has been developing and supporting workforce initiatives designed to help older adults with low income return to the workforce or advance to better jobs. Learn more about our programs:

Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)

Funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, AARP Foundation SCSEP organizes training assignments that help participants build job skills while giving back to their community. The program does this by matching unemployed adults over 55 with local nonprofits and public agencies so they can increase skills and build self-confidence while earning a modest training wage. The majority of SCSEP participants end up with unsubsidized employment.

In the 2022 fiscal calendar year (July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023), the program served more than 11,000 older adults and helped them generate $96.2 million in new income. Today, we run 113 SCSEP offices in 19 states and Puerto Rico, harnessing the collaborative strength of 3,500 nonprofit and government host agencies.  Learn more about SCSEP.

AARP Foundation SCSEP is funded by a $46,889,529 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. This funding provides 90% of the support for SCSEP, with AARP Foundation matching 10%.

BACK TO WORK 50+

BACK TO WORK 50+ has been doing just what its name says — helping people over 50 get back to work — since 2013. The program works with trained career transition coaches who host in-person and online coaching sessions that help unemployed older adults build the skills and confidence they need to compete for high-quality jobs, at no cost to them. 

The program is available nationally through webinars and in eight states through 13 nonprofit organizations and community colleges.

In 2023, nearly 12,700 older adults living with low income received the career guidance, training, and coaching they needed to seek meaningful employment through AARP Foundation’s BACK TO WORK 50+. Of those, over 1,200 received group or 1:1 coaching and 463 obtained employment after being in the program. Learn more about BACK TO WORK 50+.

Tamara Burchette BACK TO WORK 50+ participant

Digital Skills Ready@50+

In collaboration with Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) from AARP, we created Digital Skills Ready@50+™ to be part of the solution. Made possible through a generous grant from Google.org through the Tides Foundation, Digital Skills Ready@50+was designed to meet a pressing need: providing older adults the digital essentials to help them find and secure jobs, change careers or explore entrepreneurship. 

In 2022, we partnered with 110 community organizations and trained over 9,700 participants across eight states: Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas. Learn more about Digital Skills Ready@50+.

Work for Yourself@50+

The Work for Yourself@50+ program makes it easy for older adults to explore self-employment options, with free tools and resources that can help them increase their financial stability.

From in-person workshops to online training modules and incubator programs, the Work for Yourself@50+ program features a robust set of offerings that cover the essentials to know when working for yourself. Since it launched in 2016, Work for Yourself@50+ has served more than 52,000 people across the country.  Learn more about Work for Yourself@50+.

Give Monthly to Transform Seniors’ Lives

1 in 3 older adults are struggling to make ends meet. As a monthly AARP Foundation donor, you’ll provide sustaining support to help seniors go from surviving to thriving.

  

 

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