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. NCOA manages 27 SCSEP offices throughout the U.S.

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)

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. Find a local office.

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 your local NCOA SCSEP office.

Where can I get more information?

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

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 your local NCOA SCSEP office.