July 6, 2017
NAPCA tells Congress why SCSEP is important and valuable to our communities!
By: Tyrell Ma'ae

As the only job training program focused exclusively on helping older Americans return to the workforce through temporary paid work experiences that can lead to unsubsidized employment, the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA) knows firsthand the impact of the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) within our communities.  As Congress moves forward with its FY18 appropriation process, we took the opportunity to tell policy makers why SCSEP is important and valuable to our communities!

As part of NAPCA’s #SCSEPSuccess campaign, we collected over 755 comments in English, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese from Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) older adults in seven states.

The comments collected across the United Sates exemplify how SCSEP allows low-income unemployed adults aged 55 and older “gain work experience and build self confidence in finding a job” (Joseph in Newton, MA) and “stay marketable in the workforce” (Audrey in Chicago, IL).

SCSEP empowers older adults to improve their financial well-being!

Martin and Roger from Sacramento, CA told us how the program provided them with additional income so they no longer needed to rely on social welfare assistance.  The program has allowed them to live with dignity and live a “fuller and better” life. George from Brooklyn, NY simply said “SCSEP gives me a hope to survive.”

SCSEP provides community employers with work-ready candidates to consider and hire for open job positions! In Washington State, of those who exited SCSEP in Program Year 2015 and entered into unsubsidized employment, 69% retained that employment a year after exiting and earned an average salary of $16,947/year.

SCSEP promotes emotional well-being of older adults!

Phyllis and Maxine in Houston, TX told us how their interactions with other people (young and not so young) through the program allow them to avoid social isolation and have a “healthy emotional and mental approach to life.” Through helping others, they improved their “get up and go” motivation. Quyen in San Jose, CA said she’s made many new friends from the program that she otherwise wouldn’t have met.

SCSEP promotes community service within the community!

SCSEP not only benefits over 65,000 older adults annually but also benefits almost 20,000 local nonprofit and government programs, including libraries, senior centers and schools. In 2016, program participants in 56 states and territories provided nearly 35 million staffing hours to these local programs with the value of work exceeding $820 million, according to Independent Sector estimates.

Greater Boston Chinese Community Services told us that their organization is strengthened through the training services hours performed by the program participants which allow them to continue to serve the nearby community. Program supervisors in Boston, MA agreed that program participants help them maintain adequate levels of service through the experience, expertise and skills of older workers who train through SCSEP.

You can still help us tell Congress why SCSEP is important and valuable to you and your community though our comment cards available at www.NAPCA.org/SCSEP-Success.