The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) is a federally funded program administered by MERS Goodwill in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Jefferson County, and Franklin County. It is authorized by Title V of the Older Americans Act of 1965 to provide subsidized, part-time, community service work-based training. It is designed for low-income persons age 55 or older that need help finding a job.
SCSEP has a long history of placing volunteers at non-profit and government agencies to assist in the operations the organization. SCSEP volunteers can assist with duties like customer service, reception, data entry, file maintenance, inventory, stocking, janitorial or whatever the needs of the host organization may be. Participants are usually required to volunteer a scheduled 20 hours per week. All expenses and liability are covered through the grant, so there is no cost to the host organization.
The only thing asked of the host organization is that they supervise and train the SCSEP volunteer. One of the primary goals of the SCSEP is to train the participants on the job skills they need in order to eventually find permanent employment (either at the host organization or elsewhere). A skills assessment and an Individual Employment Plan (IEP) define and focus the training goals for each participant. Most participants are assigned a variety of tasks that give them both recent experience to record on their resumes, and the confidence of having more up-to-date skills.
The ultimate goal of SCSEP is to prepare and transition each participant into permanent employment. The IEP for every participant includes a requirement that they actively search for a job. A job developer is assigned to each participant to provide assistance with the job search, resumes, and interview coaching.
SCSEP can provide a variety of supportive services, the most important being a training wage for the time a participant spends volunteering at their host organization. Each participant is paid minimum wage for the 20 hours per week they volunteer/train at the host organization. In addition, assistance with education, clothes, counseling, and other items needed for work can be provided as supportive services.
For more information, please visit the national website for the program: www.doleta.gov/seniors/
You can also call MERS Goodwill SCSEP at 1-888-651-4177 with any questions, or to obtain the forms necessary to participate in Title V – Senior Community Service Employment Program.