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AARP Foundation Gets Grant to Help Older Job Seekers Train, Find Work

Money will fund employment programs in 14 states, Puerto Rico over four years

An application and resume sit on a desk with coffee and a keyboard

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En español | Older adults who want job training to compete better in today's difficult job market can continue to get help from the AARP Foundation Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), thanks to a new grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. The four-year grant will go toward programs in 14 states, including Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas, and Puerto Rico.

SCSEP provides opportunities for both community service and work-based training. Participants work an average of 20 hours a week at nonprofit and public agencies, paid at the highest minimum wage for their area. To be eligible to participate in SCSEP, you must be 55 or older, unemployed and have an annual income not more than 125 percent of the established federal poverty guidelines (roughly $16,000 per year for an individual).

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Click here to learn more about AARP Foundation SCSEP in your region. If there isn't an AARP Foundation program near you, you can find other SCSEP opportunities by entering your city, state or zip code into this search tool on the CareerOneStop website.

The on-the-job training SCSEP offers can be used as a bridge to employment opportunities outside of the program. Last year, AARP Foundation SCSEP helped nearly 12,000 people, placing more than 3,023 participants in jobs and partnering with over 3,500 community agencies.

"For more than half a century, we at AARP Foundation have seen how SCSEP brings greater income, dignity and opportunity to older adults who have suffered career setbacks,” said Lisa Marsh Ryerson, president of AARP Foundation. “Moreover, we've seen the benefit to the communities our SCSEP participants serve. AARP Foundation SCSEP participants contribute over 2 million hours of community service — valued at more than $55 million a year — to a wide range of municipal and community service organizations and nonprofits. This vital work is more important now than ever before."

The unemployment crisis the pandemic has caused has dramatically increased the demand for programs that assist older job seekers. For example, the San Diego Workforce Partnership told AARP this year that the number of workers 50 and older it had helped was already five times what it was last year.