NEW CITY – The Rockland County Office for the Aging has been awarded a $208,000 federal grant to support job training opportunities for older adults.
Nearly 90-percent of the grant from Senior Service America, Inc. – originally from the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) – will pay wages and benefits to at least 34 low-income older adults living in Rockland County, according to County Executive Ed Day.
These residents will participate in the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), a major program of the Older Americans Act, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Administered by USDOL, SCSEP is the only federal government program mandated to assist unemployed older adults seeking to rejoin the workforce.
“With SCSEP services, our older adults can lead empowered, independent lives,” said Day. “This grant will help individuals access the training they need to remain in the local workforce, leading to more productive and fulfilling lives.”
The Rockland County Office for the Aging has been a SCSEP subgrantee since 1977, and also receives over $40,000 from the New York State Office for the Aging for SCSEP operations. “We are very pleased to continue our support of the Rockland County Office for the Aging for the 12th consecutive year,” said Tony Sarmiento, Senior Service America executive director.
“This is one of the most popular programs offered through the federal government,” said Rockland County Office for the Aging Director June Molof. “This program benefits the senior trainee, the public and non-profit agencies, and the private employers that hire well-trained employees.”
While employed as SCSEP participants, the older workers are assigned to more than a dozen local community, faith-based, and public agencies, including Helen Hayes Hospital, Hi-Tor Animal Care Center and the County of Rockland. Workers receive on-the-job training to enhance their skills and gain opportunities in the local job market.
“Many low-income older adults want and need paid work,” said Sarmiento. “By serving their community, older workers receive renewed skills as well as renewed hope. Older New Yorkers are fortunate to be given the opportunity through SCSEP and the dedicated staff of the Rockland County Office for the Aging.”