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Tyler County Booster - Local News
Stories Added - April 2009
Copyright 2008 - Polk Count
y Publishing Company

Economic Stimulus Money Benefits Older Texans
Tyler County Booster - April 2009

Older job seekers across the country soon will get a boost from the American Recovery and Reinvestment
Act signed by President Obama on Feb 17. An additional $120 million will be injected this month into the Senior Community
Service Employment Program (SCSEP), the only existing federal program serving older workers.
“This is welcome news for many older job seekers in Texas who, because of their current economic situation, need to re-enter the workforce,” said Sami Lemoine, business and community liaison for Experience Works, a nonprofit agency that operates the SCSEP in Texas. “This program provides an important safety net and stepping stone for many
who are facing difficult times. The stimulus money will allow us to provide additional services to older workers and their communities.”
Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, SCSEP is free to participants who are 55 and older and meet low income criteria. Through the SCSEP, Experience Works assists older people with self-assessments, technical and skills training, the job search process, and finding an appropriate
training assignment with a local community service agency.
The goal is to provide participants with the skills and tools to transition
from their community service assignments to permanent employment
with a local employer.
“We are not talking about people who need a little extra income to help pay for their hobbies,” said Lemoine. “We are seeing people who need jobs to keep a roof over their heads, food on the table and medicine in the cabinet.”
As of January 2009, there were 881,000 more people age 65 and older in the workplace than there were in January 2007. In addition the number of low-income seniors at risk of becoming homeless has increased 140 percent since January
2008, according to Experience Works national client data.
“Finding work is especially difficult
for older people who may have been out of the job search process for 20 or 30 years and are not familiar
with current résumé styles and applying for jobs online.
Also, older job seekers may lack technical and computer skills required in today’s workplace,” said Lemoine. “With the additional
money provided through the stimulus program, we will be able to help more older workers re-tool and re-enter the workforce.”
Texans who are 55 years of age or older who want to see if they qualify for SCSEP should contact Experience
Works at 1-866-412-0978 or visit www.experienceworks.org



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