Copiah-Lincoln Community College helps older adults find jobs

Published 10:06 am Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A nearly half a million dollar grant awarded to Copiah-Lincoln Community College from the U.S. Department of Labor will make job training for senior adults possible.

The $492,582 grant through Senior Service America Inc. will provide temporary employment to at least 94 low-income older adults living in Lincoln and Copiah counties as well as Franklin, Lawrence, Pike, Adams, Amite, Claiborne, Jefferson, Simpson, Smith, Walthall and Wilkinson counties.

These older adults will participate in the Senior Community Service Employment Program, which is the only federal government program mandated to assist unemployed older adults seeking to rejoin the workforce by working in their community.

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“This program delivers a triple win for older adults and the whole community,” said Brenda Orr, dean of community programs at Co-Lin. “First, SCSEP participants are helping about 40 local community, faith-based, and public agencies carry out their mission, including the Brookhaven Recreation Department, Copiah County Human Resource Agency, WIN Job Center, and Jimmy Furlow and Natchez Senior Citizen Centers.  Second, older workers are receiving on-the-job training to enhance their skills. And third, older workers are keeping healthy by remaining connected and not isolated in their community.”

Senior Service America Executive Director Tony Sarmiento said Co-Lin has received this annual SCSEP grant since 1972. 

“Many low-income older adults want and need paid work,” said Donna Satterthwaite, Senior Service America director of employment services. “By serving their community, older workers receive renewed skills as well as renewed hope, knowing that they are not forgotten. Older Mississippians are fortunate to be given the opportunity through SCSEP and the dedicated staff of Copiah-Lincoln Community College.”

A strong work ethic coupled with their “old fashioned employer loyalty” makes older workers an attractive resource for employers seeking workers and possibly mentors for younger workers as well.  The goal of this employment-training program is to provide an opportunity for participants to utilize or enhance their present skills and also gain new marketable skills in order to enter or re-enter the employment sector. 

Employers who are interested in hiring older workers can find out more about SCSEP by contacting Anna Rogers, Co-Lin’s senior community service employment program coordinator, at 601-643-8673.