Created in 1965, SCSEP is the nation’s oldest program to help low-income, unemployed individuals aged 55+ find work. SCSEP matches eligible older adults with part-time jobs for community service organizations. Participants build skills and self-confidence, while earning a modest income. For most, their SCSEP experience leads to permanent employment.

SCSEP is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor and is one of three federal workforce development programs that does not overlap with any other similar program. The program serves nearly every county in the nation. NCOA manages 27 SCSEP offices throughout the U.S.

About SCSEP

Success by the Numbers

  • 65,081 low-income older Americans received paid employment and training
  • More than 2,000 public and nonprofit agencies (like libraries and senior centers) are supported with more than 34 million staff hours
  • 51% of participants gained unsubsidized employment following the program
  • $820 million in community service provided by SCSEP participants – nearly twice the total appropriation for the program
  • 88% of participants reported the same or better physical health while working
  • 72% reported a better outlook on life while working

The training has been invaluable, uplifted and boosted my self confidence, and the pay has helped me to pay my bills in a timely fashion, instead of juggling like I usually have to.

Without SCSEP I would not be able to pay for Medicare Supplemental Insurance, car or rental insurance.

Without SCSEP I wouldn’t be able to support myself while I get more training to be able to get a good job.

This program has become a life saver for me. I can’t begin to tell you how important it is to me and my quality of life.

Although were older, all we need is a chance to prove ourselves that we can still work hard and SCSEP gives us that chance, our foot in the door to prove ourselves.

Information for Older Adults

Who is eligible for SCSEP?

To be eligible for SCSEP, you must be:

  • 55 or older
  • Unemployed
  • Living on a family income of no more than 125% of the federal poverty level (if you’re not sure, contact a local SCSEP office)

Who are SCSEP participants?

  • 32% are 65 or older; 13% are 70 or older
  • 65% are women; 49% are a racial or ethnic minority; 20% have at least one disability
  • 43% have one or more years of college; 39% have a high school diploma; 18% do not have a high school diploma
  • 13% are veterans or qualified spouses
  • 28% live in rural areas

How do I apply for SCSEP?

To apply, simply contact your local NCOA SCSEP office to complete an application. If you’re eligible and there is no waiting list, you will be enrolled to work at a training site.

What kind of training and work will I get?

You will be trained in all the skills you need to do your job, including using a computer. You will serve in a vital community service position such as (but not limited to):

  • Child care provider
  • Customer service representative
  • Teachers’ aide
  • Computer technician
  • Building maintenance worker
  • Health care worker

What are the hours and pay?

You will work an average of 20 hours a week and earn whichever is highest—the federal, state, or local minimum wage. Most participants are with SCSEP for about six months before we help them find a more permanent job.

I’d like to work as a direct care worker. Can SCSEP help?

Yes. We’re pioneering a program to train mature workers to be direct care providers to elderly and disabled persons who need non-medical assistance in their home. If you’re interested, please contact us to find your local NCOA SCSEP office.

Where can I get more information?

You can learn more about SCSEP at the U.S. Department of Labor.

Without SCSEP our organization would fall apart. I love my little helper, she is my right hand!! Our customers love having her help and we would never be able to finish our monthly projects without her!

Without SCSEP participants, we could not meet many of our goals and complete our mission. The Library’s public hours would be drastically reduced.

Without SCSEP, our organization would lose the specialized skill we have acquired in marketing and graphic design. This is not an area our budget would sufficiently cover without SCSEP.

Without SCSEP we would have to rely more on inconsistent volunteers.

Without SCSEP my organization would lose a whole department and would not be able to help people in the community.

Information for Employers

As an employer, SCSEP can help you find trained and qualified mature workers to fill important jobs in your organization.

How can my organization participate in SCSEP?

If you’re a nonprofit or public facility, you might be eligible to become a SCSEP training site. To be a training site, you must:

  • Have appropriate training for older workers
  • Offer diverse and quality training opportunities
  • Meet NCOA safety standards

Can SCSEP train mature workers to meet my organization’s exact needs?

Yes. We work directly with employers to provide qualified mature workers trained to their requirements. The program is called On-the-Job Experience (OJE).

Through OJE, the local SCSEP project agrees to pay all or part of a mature worker’s wages while he or she is being trained. Paperwork is kept to a minimum. The mature worker must be eligible for SCSEP, and certain limitations apply.

I’m looking for mature workers to serve as direct care workers. Can SCSEP help?

Yes. We’re pioneering a program to train mature workers to be direct care providers to elderly and disabled persons who need assistance in their home. We’re working with direct care agencies and PHI National to recruit and train mature workers to provide non-medical care.

With a special grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, we’re also conducting a three-year pilot project to train and place 300 mature workers in health care occupations. So far, we’ve trained over 350 mature health care workers in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

I’m interested in hosting SCSEP workers. What do I do now?

If you’re interested in becoming a SCSEP training site, please contact us to find your local NCOA SCSEP office.