The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) is a program to help older Americans get back into or remain active in the workforce. It is a part-time community service and work-based training program where participants gain career skills through on the job training in community based organizations in identified growth industries. Participants are placed in a wide variety of non-profit and public facilities, referred to as Host Agencies. Examples of Host Agencies include day-care centers, senior centers, schools, hospitals, and government agencies. SCSEP aims to strengthen the Host Agencies’ responsibility to provide sufficient skills training and professional development that will lead to employment. Additionally SCSEP staff actively engage and coordinate with Host Agencies in the transition of participants into secure permanent unsubsidized employment. SCSEP also works with the business community to identify employers who are interested in hiring qualified, trained mature workers.
SCSEP celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015. It has evolved from its beginnings as a pilot project funded under Operation Mainstream in 1965 to today’s program authorized by the United States Congress under Title V of the Older Americans Act of 1965. Later amendments now provide subsidized, part-time, community service work based training for low-income persons age 55 or older who have poor employment prospects. The program is a response to the reality that many mature people have outdated skills and economic changes often result in seniors losing work or being forced into retirement before they are financially ready. SCSEP is the only federally mandated job training program that explicitly serves low income adults, age 55 years and older. SCSEP has a rich history of serving some of the most disadvantaged older Americans in the country, including minorities and those with low-incomes and limited education.
SCSEP provides work-based training at Host Agencies and classroom based training in identified growth industries 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). The effectiveness of the work-based training assignments are reviewed at least once annually and participants may be rotated to another Host Agency to further enhance job skills, 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. Training 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.
All employers who are interested in hiring a Senior Community Service Employment Program participant should contact the SCSEP office at (202) 698-5700.