SSAI Awarded $375,000 Grant to Help Older Coloradans with a Criminal Record Enter the Workforce

September 4, 2018

SILVER SPRING, Md., Sept. 04, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Senior Service America, Inc. (SSAI), in partnership with DenverWorks, has received a $375,000 grant for Back to Business, a job training and placement program for older ex-offenders. The program will cover three Colorado areas: the city of Denver, as well as Arapahoe and Adams counties. It is being funded by NextFifty Initiative, a Colorado based foundation.

The SSAI/DenverWorks program comes at a time when the state of Colorado intends to release a significant number of non-violent offenders, who have served significant sentences, many of them older inmates. Many of these soon-to-be new parolees face a triple stigma of being over 50 years old, of being of minority descent, and of having criminal records. The two year Back to Business program will prepare 200 low-income, predominantly minority, 50+ Coloradans with criminal records to develop skills that allow them to overcome these specific barriers to employment.

SSAI is the only national organization focused on ensuring a place for older Americans as part of the workforce. The organization operates in 32 states and has served over 450,000 Americans since its inception. Its collaboration with DenverWorks marks SSAI’s return to the state of Colorado since 2003.

“The fact is that despite a national unemployment rate at 4.1 percent, older workers experience higher job loss and unemployment rates. The shift from ‘Old Economy’ jobs like factory work, to ‘New Economy,’ technology-based positions being a great factor,” said Gary A. Officer, SSAI President and CEO. “Those who have been incarcerated are at an even greater disadvantage upon their release.”

The new alliance with SSAI will allow DenverWorks to expand its assistance to an older demographic. In the past, 20 percent of DenverWorks client-base has been over the age of 50. “Gainful employment is fundamental to successful re-entry into the community for ex-offenders. Through our new national alliance with SSAI and a strong investment by NextFifty we will continue to break down the barriers to employment for those most in need,” said Robert Andrews, of DenverWorks.

For more information about SSAI visit

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About Senior Service America, Inc. 
Senior Service America, Inc. (SSAI) is committed to making it possible for low-income and other disadvantaged older adults to participate fully in determining their own future and the future of their communities. SSAI provides employment opportunities to low-income and other older adults in 32 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. For 50 years, SSAI has operated the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) and currently partners with a diverse network of local organizations in 13 states. For more information, please visit

About NextFifty Initiative
NextFifty Initiative is an independent, Colorado-based, nonprofit organization. The organization was formed to create brighter, longer and healthier futures that unlock the potential of communities through an advanced grant making approach. Through this work, communities are positioned to fully benefit from the wisdom and diverse experiences of a thriving aging population. Our approach applies a multitude of lenses in funding high-yield aging solutions that benefit people age 50 and older. NextFifty Initiative focuses grant making designed to support concepts, projects and innovations that will benefit generations for years to come.