Thanks to funding from the Department of Labor and the Ohio Department on Aging, older job seekers in 38 Ohio counties have access to employment services through the VANTAGE Aging Senior Community Services Employment Program (SCSEP). VANTAGE, a senior services agency with headquarters in Akron, helps adults age 55 and over gain the confidence they need to apply for jobs and get hired. SCESP connects participants with agencies that provide part-time subsidized employment and training opportunities.
When Lillie applied to the VANTAGE Cincinnati SCSEP, she had been unemployed for almost a year and was struggling to get by. She had worked as a housekeeper at a hotel for two years when she injured her shoulder and sustained a torn rotator cuff. The result—she was not able to perform housekeeping work. Prior to the housekeeping job, she had not worked for nine years. During that time, she was the primary caretaker for her father, who died in 2008.
Lillie wanted to work and was sure she would find a job because she had good work experience in housekeeping, food service, and factory work. But her job search was unsuccessful. Although very discouraged, Lillie began to feel hopeful when she heard about SCSEP from a friend. She waited two years until she reached the required age of 55, and enrolled in the program at the VANTAGE Cincinnati office. Lillie was now on the path to employment. According to Lillie, “The SCSEP program helped me to rebuild my life.”
After Lillie enrolled in SCSEP, she was placed as an intern in the Senior Meals program at South Fairmont Community Center. Her job duties included helping with senior meals and completing paperwork for applicants. This work training gave Lillie the chance to work hard and impress her supervisors. The internship paid off—Lillie not only developed her computer skills and established a current work history, she also proved to be a valuable member of the Center’s team.
When Lillie’s work training period was about to end, supervisors at the Center did not want to lose her. Impressed by her knowledge and expertise, they planned to hire her to help with lunch meals. Instead, she was hired as Assistant Senior Center Director, a major accomplishment for Lillie! Today, she continues to work at the Center.
“I came from nothing to nothing before I enrolled in SCSCEP,” says Lillie. “I had no career and no opportunities for a job. I appreciate everything that the VANTAGE program did for me. I love what I do and I thank the agency for the opportunity they gave me.”
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