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Program offers jobs for senior citizens

While many programs are cutting back on services, Senior Employment Centers throughout Ohio have added 362 openings for older workers to participate in a training program thanks to recent grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Ohio Department of Aging.

The openings come at a time when many older adults are seeking ways to gain the training necessary to secure a job in today’s changing marketplace.

The Senior Employment Center, a division of Mature Services, Inc., operates the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), which provides paid part-time work experience and paid training to assist mature workers (age 55 and older) to re-enter the job market.

Individuals receive minimum wage while training and must meet federal eligibility guidelines. People currently collecting unemployment can also qualify for the program.

As SCSEP participants gain new skills and find permanent jobs in the private sector, new opportunities are created for others to participate and benefit from the program.

According to Paul Magnus, vice-president of workforce development, “This is the perfect program for mature workers, because it provides them with an income while they are training for a new career. Not only that but, since their training assignments are with local non-profits and government agencies, they are making it possible for those programs to expand services to the community at a time when the need is greatest.”

The Senior Employment Center currently has 10 offices serving 41 counties and plans are in place to open four more offices by Spring 2010.

Those interested can apply for the program locally at Workforce Development Resource Center at 120 North Third Street, Ironton, Ohio 45638.

Program participants receive minimum wage during their training assignments, and “As participants transition from the community service to the private sector, their wages may increase significantly,” said Diane Boster, project director of the Portsmouth office, “and they continue to be contributing members of their community.”

Older workers are trained for a variety of positions in fields such as accounting, administrative assistant, hospitality, data entry, driver, file clerk, customer service, home health aide, janitorial and maintenance services, receptionist, and many more.

To qualify for the program, a person must be at least 55 years old, have limited income, live in Lawrence county, and be interested in learning new skills and becoming self sufficient.

For more information, call (740) 532-3140 ext. 241 or toll free 1-866-734-2301 or visit the website at www.matureservices.org and click on the Senior Employment Center tab.