The Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services

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Senior Community Service Employment Program

Woman working on laptopDARS' Senior Community Service Employment Program (www.doleta.gov/seniors/) enhances job opportunities for unemployed older Americans and promotes them as a solution for businesses seeking trained, qualified and reliable employees.

SCSEP is the only federally sponsored job creation program targeted to low-income older Americans. The program subsidizes part-time community service jobs for low income persons age 55 years and older who have poor employment prospects. The program fosters economic self-sufficiency by moving able participants into unsubsidized employment in the public and private sectors and benefits both participants and the communities they serve. Program participants work in a wide variety of community service jobs, including nurse's aides, teacher's aides, librarian's aides, and clerical workers.

SCSEP is administered at the federal level by the United States Department of Labor, which allocates funds to DARS and its Division of Rehabilitative Services to operate the program and awards funds to national contractor organizations or sponsors. National sponsor organizations operating SCSEP in Virginia are the AARP Foundation; Goodwill Industries International, Inc.; Experience Works, Inc.; and the National Council on Aging. The DARS program currently supports work experiences for 190 Virginians.

With the creation of the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, the agency is capitalizing on its Division for the Aging and the Division for Rehabilitative Services to raise awareness of the SCSEP program and the work skills of its participants.

Through DARS, SCSEP enrollees may be:

  • included in the agency business development managers’ efforts to provide qualified job applicants when employers — such as the nearly 90 Employment Services Organizations who already partner with DARS to serve thousands of Virginians with disabilities — look to DARS for assistance in filling positions, and
  • assessed for potential need of assistive technology (www.vats.org) which may allow them to manage their work more effectively and work in a more ergonomic work environment.

Older workers are a valuable resource for the 21st century workforce and DARS joins with SCSEP in committing to providing high-quality job training and employment assistance to program participants.