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Co-Lin receives $500K grant for senior citizen employment

Copiah-Lincoln Community College has received a $500k grant to provide temporary employment for senior citizens.

The college recently announced it was awarded a $503,000 grant from the Center for Workforce Inclusion Inc. The majority of the grant came from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The grant will provide temporary employment to older low-income Mississippians living in the following counties: Lincoln, Lawrence, Copiah, Franklin, Jefferson, Amite, Pike, Adams, Claiborne, Simpson, Smith, Walthall and Wilkinson.

Many of these counties are included in the college’s district.

These residents will participate in the Senior Community Service Employment Program. SCSEP is the only federal job-training program that exclusively targets older, low-income individuals.

“SCSEP has been a godsend during the COVID-19 pandemic,” college President Jane Hulon Sims said. “SCSEP participants have been able to continue to be paid emergency pandemic sick leave while they stay at home and in many cases continue to receive training. Continuing to receive funds has prevented participants from becoming homeless. And now, the participants are slowly starting to be able to safely return to their training sites where they help local community, faith-based, and public agencies carry out their mission, such as Copiah-Lincoln Community College, Copiah County Board of Supervisors, Brookhaven WIN Job Center, St. Andrews Missions and the Copiah-Jefferson Regional Library Systems, to name a few.”

SCSEP promotes personal dignity and self-sufficiency through work. Its temporary part-time community service jobs provide a hand-up, not a hand-out for older, unemployed low-income Americans. SCSEP allows eligible persons to participate for up to four years, but the average tenure nationally is 19 months with the experience and training they receive leading them to permanent employment.

The college has been a participant in the program for 48 years.