Training, a Job, and a Life Turned Around
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Training, a Job, and a Life Turned Around


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At age 61, Pat Lardiere found herself out of work, despite many years of two jobs—as a part-time receptionist at a nursing home and as a licensed sales assistant for a homebuilder.

"My second favorite job was in a sales office assisting future homebuyers," Lardiere says. "But I found my true calling working with older adults, first as a companion to them.”

Unemployed and in need of income, Lardiere heard about NCOA’s Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) in Lakewood, NJ. She decided to give it a try.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, SCSEP provides training and part-time community service work to help mature workers increase their income and find a permanent job.

At the SCSEP office, Ginger Goldman, NCOA employment facilitator, quickly saw that Lardiere had valuable experience. She suggested Lardiere enroll in an NCOA pilot program designed to train and certify older adults to be direct care workers, such as home health aides.

Lardiere signed up, worked hard, and graduated with high grades and “a new profound love and respect for this vocation,” she says. The training was free, and it led Lardiere to a part-time job with a home health agency. She now has two steady clients—and a steady income.

“The health care field is one of the largest in New Jersey,” Lardiere says. “Fortunately, I live in an area where this specialty is in great demand. For anyone facing retirement or tired of staying at home, I recommend this occupation very highly. It feels so good to be able to help others and know how much it is appreciated.”

NCOA manages 27 SCSEP offices around the country. 

“I will always be grateful to my NCOA family for helping me to find and thoroughly enjoy my dream,” Lardiere says. “Thank you, NCOA. You turned my life around.”


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