What is SCSEP?

The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) is a community service and work-based job training program for older Americans. Authorized by the Older Americans Act, the program provides training for low-income, unemployed people age 55 and older. Participants also have access to employment assistance through the American Job Center network.

SCSEP participants gain work experience in a variety of community service activities at non-profit and public agencies, including schools, hospitals, day-care centers, and senior centers. Participants work an average of 20 hours a week and are paid the highest of the federal, state or local minimum wage. This training serves as a bridge to civic engagement and skills enhancement; and leads to unsubsidized employment opportunities for participants.

The Center’s SCSEP program is funded by a $46.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. This funding provides 90% of the support for SCSEP with the Center matching 10% or $5 million.

SCSEP’s Triple Win

SCSEP delivers a “triple win” for our nation by promoting healthy aging, offering employment opportunities for low-income older Americans, and providing a labor force to programs and agencies to help serve more people and do more good. Two-thirds of the low-income older Americans participating in SCSEP are women, almost half are from a racial or ethnic minority, and almost 65% are age 55-64.  Veterans and qualified spouses of veterans are given first priority for enrollment into SCSEP.

SCSEP and The Center for Workforce Inclusion

The Center operates SCSEP predominantly through a sub grantee network of local partner organizations. Our local partners are drawn from aging services, workforce development, and other nonprofit or government agencies who work closely with local employers, social services, and community organizations.

More than 7,000 older job seekers participate in our SCSEP program annually.  While many of our partners are based in high-density urban areas, over 60 percent serve multi-county rural regions.  The Center helps our partners better serve older adults in their community.

General Program Requirements

Participants must be at least 55, unemployed, and have a family income of no more than 125% of the federal poverty level.

Enrollment priority is given to veterans and qualified spouses of veterans, then to individuals who are over 65, have a disability, have low literacy skills or limited English proficiency, reside in a rural area, are homeless or at risk of homelessness, have low employment prospects, or have failed to find employment after using services through the American Job Center system.

Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

The Center for Workforce Inclusion operates SCSEP predominantly through a sub grantee network of local partner organizations. This year, our 65 local partners are operating SCSEP in 445 counties across 15 states.  

To find the SCSEP program near you, please start by clicking on your state from the following list:

If (employers) know you’re coming from SCSEP, they know you’ve been steady, they know you’ll keep working. (SCSEP’s) like a life support system at my time of need.

Martin Saunders, SCSEP Client