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Senior Community Service Employment Program

Program Overview

The District’s Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) offers subsidized skills training and job placement assistance to disadvantaged District residents ages 55 years and older. The program tailors recruitment, training and employment strategies to help place seniors with host agencies for training and employment in growth industries. SCSEP aims to strengthen host agencies’ responsibility to provide sufficient skills training and professional development that will lead to employment; and to actively engage and coordinate with employers in the transition of participants into unsubsidized employment, secure permanent unsubsidized employment. The SCSEP also provides job-matching assistance to employers who are interested in hiring qualified, trained mature workers and no-cost community service assistance to government or non-profit agencies that host SCSEP trainees.

Program Dates, Times, Location and Contact Information
4058 Minnesota Avenue, NE
3rd Floor
Washington, DC
Year Round: July 1-June 30
Phone: (202) 698-5700
Fax: (202) 698-5734

Program Details

During the 1960’s, President Lyndon Baines Johnson announced his “War on Poverty” campaign. The SCSEP, Title V of the Older Americans Act, was a product of that campaign. The program, which has been continuously funded since its inception, is a response to the reality that many mature people have outdated skills and economic changes often result in seniors losing work or being forced into retirement before they are financially ready. Many older workers, especially women, may find themselves seeking work for the first time or returning after years of homemaking and in need of gaining updated skills.

SCSEP provides two types of training to non-job ready District of Columbia mature job-seekers. Determinations are based upon an initial assessment and the development of an Individual Employment Plan (IEP). SCSEP provides work-based training at host agencies and classroom based training in identified growth industries. The effectives of work-based training assignments are reviewed at least once annually and participants may be rotated to another host agency, classroom based training or additional Department of Employment Services resources that may meet their needs. Individuals’ program duration is individually assessed, but may not exceed 48 months.

All SCSEP participants are considered trainees and are not employees of the District of Columbia Department of Employment Services or federal government. Wages are fixed at the minimum wage level, whichever is higher of the state or federal current minimum wage. The amount is not subject to change based on individual performance. Host Agency assignments and/or training activities may not exceed 20 hours per week. SCSEP participants are compensated for ten federal holidays. No SCSEP participant may work or be paid for working on any federal holiday

Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible for the District of Columbia Department of Employment Services Senior Community Service Employment Program the individual must meet the following requirements:

  • Be unemployed
  • Be a District of Columbia resident upon enrollment and must remain a city resident
  • Meet the Department of Health and Human Services Poverty Guidelines
  • Be 55 years of age or older; those between the ages of 55-59 must meet at least one criteria of the US Department of Labor's Most in Need Measure:
    • limited english proficiency,
    • low literacy skills,
    • a veteran or a qualified spouse,
    • disabled,
    • homeless or at risk of homelessness,
    • a displaced homemaker, or
    • failed to find employment after using the Workforce Investment Act Title I., are at least 60 years old and a veterans.
  • Not be job-ready due to extended history of unemployment; has not been trained or certified in a trade or skill and has not participated in job-related trainings or programs.
  • Be eligible to work in the US and have the mental and physical capacity to perform work-related activities for at least twenty hours per week
  • Be willing to provide data for verification of income eligibility every 12 months or as long as enrolled in the SCSEP
  • Provide birth certificate or driver’s license to verify age.
  • Provide a social security card, birth certificate, or employee authorization card to verify permission to work in the United States.
  • Provide proof of income such as, pay stubs, income tax returns, Social Security statements, pension or widow benefits to verify income eligibility.
  • Provide lease, mortgage statement or utility bill as proof of residence.

How To Apply

All citizens interested in applying to participate in the Senior Community Service Employment Program must schedule an intake appointment, complete application and submit the required documents to receive an eligibility determination. Eligibility determinations will be completed within 10 business days after receipt of a completed intake application. All applicants will receive written notice of their eligibility status. The intake appointment consists of completing an application of eligibility, including work history, interests and skills, documentation of household members and income, a personal interview and determination of willingness and ability to utilize the program and achieve the program goal of unsubsidized employment.

How to Apply to Become a SCSEP Host Agency

All non-profit and government agencies interested in becoming a SCSEP host agency must complete a Host Agency application and submit to the SCSEP Program Coordinator. They must provide their tax exempt certificate, position descriptions and a statement regarding their ability to hire. In addition, the SCSEP Program Coordinator will schedule an onsite visit to conduct a review of the training site and ensure the environment is safe and free of any environmental hazards. If eligible, all host agencies must sign a host agency agreement and recertify each year prior to June 30.

Eligibility Requirements to Be a SCSEP Host Agency

In order to be eligible to serve as a host agency for the District of Columbia Department of Employment Service Senior Community Service Employment Program the agency must meet the following requirements:

  • A non-profit or government agency located in the District of Columbia.
  • The host agency agrees to provide to the Department of Employment Services SCSEP an advance copy of the position description for each Senior Aide to be stationed at the worksite. The host agency further agrees that all work assignments will be non-sectarian and that no Senior Aide will be employed in construction, operation or maintenance of any facility used for sectarian instructions or religious worship.
  • The host agency agrees to abide by Federal Maintenance of Effort provisions as stated in 29 CPR 99.41. This section stipulates that SCSEP Projects do the following:
    • Shall result in an increase in employment opportunities over those, which would otherwise be available.
    • May not result in the displacement of currently employed workers, including partial displacement such as reduction in hours or non-overtime work, wages or employment benefits.
    • May not impair existing contracts for service or result in substitution of federal funds for other funds in connection with work that would otherwise be performed.
    • May not substitute project work assignments for existing federally-assisted jobs.
    • May not employ or continue to employ any Senior Aides to perform work the same or substantially the same as that performed by any other person who is on layoff.
  • The host agency agrees to provide adequate orientation instruction training, support services, workplace and materials to all Senior Aides assigned to the worksite. The host agency also agrees to provide adequate supervision to enable the Senior Aide(s) to perform as a productive, effective worker.
  • The host agency agrees to electronically submit time sheets for all Senior Aides on alternate Fridays.
  • The Host Agency will notify the Project Sponsor of any work reassignment of Senior Aides, i.e. change in worksites or duties. The host agency also will notify the Project Sponsor of any worksite injury of a Senior Aide after every effort to arrange immediate medical treatment.
  • The host agency will excuse all Senior Aides from their regular duties a minimum of one day each month to attend the scheduled Senor Aide’s workshop and/or special events.
  • The host agency agrees to coordinate with the Department of Employment Services SCSEP for the purpose of seeking assistance in the resolution of problems, disagreement of other incompatibilities which result from or impact upon the performance of the Senior Aide(s) at the worksite.

Pursuant and in accordance with the District of Columbia’s Personnel Regulations regarding competitive employment opportunities, the host agency agrees to consider the Senior Aide(s) for regular job positions with the host agency where vacancies occur. Furthermore, the host agency agrees that if funds become available for the position in which the Senior Aide(s) serve or for a position having similar duties, that when possible, the Senior Aide(s) will be given first consideration for the position.

How to Apply to Become a SCSEP Employer

All employers who are interested in hiring a Senior Community Service Employment Program trainee should contact the SCSEP office at (202) 698-5700. 

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