In each of the seven states served, the National Indian Council on Aging’s (NICOA) Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) staff develops written agreements with community service partners (public, tribal or private nonprofit community service organizations). Participant eligibility is determined based on federal rules and documentation provided by applicants. Eligible individuals selected are placed in part-time paid training assignments with community service partners.
Host agency partners offer training sites to provide training and supervision for participants who are engaged in assisting these agencies. The length of community service training is determined through NICOA participant assessments in accordance with SCSEP rules. SCSEP participants are paid for their hours in community service by NICOA’s SCSEP grant funds at a rate no less than the federal or state minimum wage, or the prevailing rate for such a position.
Orientation training is provided for partner organizations and participants by NICOA, as well as an overview of SCSEP goals, rules and procedures. Periodic assessments and individual employment plans are created and updated by staff and participants, and training site supervisors are consulted about participant progress. NICOA’s SCSEP and host agency partners assist participants to obtain additional training and unsubsidized employment.
Participants are rotated to new training assignments to increase their skills and potential for employment. By law, no one can remain a SCSEP participant indefinitely. Currently NICOA participants’ average time in SCSEP is 25 months.
Once an elder job seeker is accepted to the program, they become a participant of SCSEP and receive temporary and useful part-time training, job experience, resume building, and grant sponsored income to prepare them for finding employment in the community. NICOA prepares its participants to become more highly skilled applicants.
Participants have the opportunity to take part in a variety of service assignments, where they receive job training at a host agency site, which is a nonprofit or public agency. They also have the opportunity to participate in various trainings through NICOA partners and community organizations. Such training includes basic skills, ESL, computer literacy, and telephone systems. Contact NICOA to find the SCSEP service provider in your area.