ROCHESTER, N.Y. — PathStone, a nonprofit agency based in Rochester, New York, has assumed responsibility for the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) in Ohio counties, including Shelby, Auglaize and Champagne.
As of Feb. 1, Experience Works, which has managed the program, which once was called Green Thumb, for more than a decade, transitioned it to the National Council on Aging, which subcontracted it to PathStone. The change was prompted by the results of a Department of Labor grant competition to operate the program for the next four years, according to an Experience Works release.
SCSEP is designed to respond to the needs of older jobseekers with barriers to employment. Authorized by the Older Americans Act, SCSEP provides unemployed, low-income adults 55 and older with part-time jobs working in local nonprofit, government and faith-based agencies providing services in the community.
Seniors who qualify for SCSEP positions are paid a stipend equal to minimum wage.
“Experience Works has been honored to serve low-income older people, community aencies and employers here and we have every confidence that these grantees will continue to provide the high level of services we have had the privilege to provide over the years,” said Sally A. Boofer, Experience Works president and CEO.
Currently, six Shelby Countians are SCSEP participants.
Madell Breedlove, director of training and employment for the SCSEP at PathStone, said the six have already filed new tax forms. The biggest changes they’ll notice with the different parent organization are frequent review of individual employment plans and certified training sessions when warranted.
“I plan to sit down with them and say, ‘What do you want to do?’ Then we’ll figure out what they need to be able to do that,” Breedlove said.
Host agencies may see some changes, too.
“We might rotate people a little bit more. If I sit down with people and see what they want to be doing and they want to be doing something else, we’ll get the the training to do what they’d like to do. For instance, I have a participant here who has been doing housekeeping, but she’d like to be a receptionist. We’ll get her the computer skills to be a receptionist. But her current host agency will get someone new in housekeeping.”
Employers will see a more skilled employee, “one ready to jump right in,” Breedlove said. Senior workers can participate in SCSEP for up to 4 years. PathStone managers work to move them into real jobs at that point, if not earlier.
PathStone is in the process now of opening offices in Toledo and Lima to manage Ohio participants. It has advertised to hire two training and employment managers and a placement career service developer to work in Ohio. Breedlove said that she’s also looking for office space in Shelby County.
“We are ecstatic about this new development (managing SCSEP in Ohio). We’re a hands-on organization. People are our life. We’re excited to give people the opportunity to do what they want as far as employment is concerned, to move them into the second part of their professional lives,” Breedlove said.
For information about qualifying as a participant or a host agency, call 585-340-3395 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.