Older Americans ‘Blaze a Trail’
Thursday, May 12, 2016 12:00 AM
MARINETTE — Older Americans Month celebrates older adults as they play growing and increasingly vital roles in communities all across the country.
This year’s theme, “Blaze a Trail,” emphasizes the ways older adults are reinventing themselves through new work and new passions, engaging their communities, and blazing a trail of positive impact on the lives of people of all ages. Experience Works, a national nonprofit organization, dedicates year-round programs and services that are helping them do just that.
Its largest program, the U.S. Department of Labor-funded Senior Community Service Employment Program or SCSEP, provides assistance to low-income older adults needing help transitioning back into the workforce. Operating in 30 states and Puerto Rico, including 44 Wisconsin counties, participants build confidence, update job skills through a wide range of community service opportunities, and access customized training as a stepping stone to employment.
“Older Americans Month is the perfect time to remind Wisconsinites that Experience Works is an important community resource for low-income older adults and their communities — especially in rural areas,” says Scott Savola, Northern Wisconsin Employment and Training Coordinator for Experience Works. “The SCSEP is a wonderful example of how we help people age with dignity and purpose.”
While participants learn valuable skills, host agencies benefit from an expanded workforce that helps meet the increasing need for their services.
The program is available to people 55 and older who are unemployed and have incomes of $14,850 per year or less for a family of one; $20,025 for a family of two. People may call for additional guidelines for more family members.
WI State Program Manager Sue Garbisch also wants to connect with public and nonprofit organizations interested in becoming community partners. “Working together is the best way to ensure older adults have the support and resources they need to be successful,” she says.
For more information on becoming a community partner, or enrolling in the program, people may call Experience Works toll-free at 1-866-207-2612, or visit www.experienceworks.org.