Finding jobs can be tough for older adults especially if they need to update skills or have lost touch with job-search connections. But many older adults have found success through the Senior Community Services Employment Program (SCSEP) offered by the Akron-based agency, VANTAGE Aging.
VANTAGE Workforce Solutions manages SCSEP, which provides paid job training and temporary part-time employment for low-income or unemployed seniors age 55 or older. The program targets older adults who have employment barriers including age, long-term unemployment, and disabilities. Participants earn as they learn while working in local nonprofit agencies serving their community.
Marilyn’s success represents the power of the SCSEP program. She found a job as a result of enrollment in SCSEP at the VANTAGE Workforce Solutions Cincinnati office. Her success is an example of the value of this program for older adults, their employers, and communities.
After relocating from Tennessee to Ohio, Marilyn’s challenges began. With experience in social services, she wanted to work in that field but could not find a job. Like many older adults, she was unemployed for several years.
“I am sure my age, lack of current social service experience, and education level limited my ability to work in this field,” Marilyn said. Close to being homeless, she managed to survive on SNAP food benefits and subsidized housing. With the help of a volunteer at the Healing Center in Cincinnati, she used the Ohio Benefits Bank website to apply for the SCSEP program at VANTAGE Workforce Solutions.
Life began to improve when Marilyn enrolled in the SCSEP program. Her goal was to learn new skills, update the ones she had, and find a job. She met with a Workforce Project Director and was assigned to Catholic Charities for work-site training as a receptionist intern.
Marilyn worked hard to improve her skills. While working as a receptionist at Catholic Charities, Marilyn learned about community services and resources in Cincinnati. She took classes at Cincinnati State College and earned a Community Health Worker (CHW) certificate. As part of the program, she was selected to intern at the Cradle Cincinnati Connections site at Children’s Hospital.
“The staff was not knowledgeable about community health workers and their role in community health services,” as Marilyn recalled. When she went on home visits with them, they were impressed by her knowledge of community services and ability to connect with clients, especially in a zip code area where they themselves had difficulty.
Marilyn loved the experience and told her supervisor “this would be my dream job.” On completion of the internship, her supervisor asked if she would be interested in a new CMW position to be funded on approval in 3 to 4 months.
Marilyn was elated and continued her SCSEP training at Catholic Charities until she received an email that linked to an application for the job. Marilyn applied and was hired as a Community Health Worker. She now works for Children’s Hospital in the Cradle Cincinnati Connections department and receives an excellent salary and full benefits.
Proud of her achievement, Marilyn said, “This is my dream job and I am very appreciative of the VANTAGE Workforce Solutions program that provided the pathway to my success. I highly recommend it because it is a great opportunity for seniors who want to re-enter the workforce.” She found hope, help, and permanent employment.
VANTAGE Workforce Solutions supports older adults when they need it most—unemployed and looking for a job. The program provides a positive experience that can lead to job search success. The result: an improved quality of life and the ability to age with dignity.
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