Southeast Alabama Planning & Development Commission receives workforce inclusion grant

Published 7:30 am Wednesday, September 27, 2023

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The Southeast Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission announced today that it was awarded a $288,146 Workforce Inclusion grant from the Center for Workforce Inclusion, Inc. (Center). Almost 90 percent of this grant – originally from the U.S. Department of Labor – will provide temporary employment to no less than 52 low-income older Alabamians living in Barbour, Coffee, Covington, Dale, Geneva, Henry, and Houston Counties. These older adults will participate in the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), a cornerstone program of the Older Americans Act and the only federal job training program targeted exclusively to low-income, older job seekers.

In its 59th year, SCSEP promotes personal dignity and self-sufficiency through work. The training attained through SCSEP provides in-demand skills for older, unemployed, low-income Americans. The Center, a top-tier U.S. Department of Labor National Grantee of SCSEP, works through a network of local partners delivering career training programs for eligible 55-plus-year-old workers across the United States. To date, the Center has served more than 500,000 eligible older workers in permanent employment through the SCSEP program. “Our long-term, local partners are key to the strength of the Center and provide the systems to train older Americans into a strategic advantage for employers across the country,” said Gary A. Officer, Center for Workforce Inclusion President and CEO. “We are very pleased to continue our support of the Southeast Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission for the 49th consecutive year.”

“SCSEP helps our community’s eligible 55+ job seekers learn new skills and refresh old ones when they are coming back into the workforce,” said Scott Farmer, Executive Director of Southeast Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission. At their training sites, SCSEP job seekers help local community, faith-based, and public agencies carry out their mission, such as: the Wiregrass Area Foodbank; Wiregrass United Way; multiple Senior Centers in several counties; and Wiregrass 2-1-1. “Wiregrass 2-1-1 has been working with the Senior Employment Program for more than 15 years and I have been fortunate to see seniors thrive in this program,” said Marc Cronin, Executive Director of Wiregrass 2-1-1. “By working in the SCSEP program, our seniors have been able to refresh their skills to be competitive in today’s job market. Our seniors face a tough job market and this program helps them meet those challenges”.

“By working in SCSEP positions, SCSEP is providing hope and dignity to low-income, older job seekers who have the toughest employment challenges. The grant from the Center is essential to delivering these vital workforce training services to our community.”

The Southeast Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission provides a range of services to seven counties in Southeast Alabama (Barbour, Coffee, Covington, Dale, Geneva, Henry, and Houston). Services include the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP); Head Start and Pre-K; community and economic development projects, small business loan programs, and the Wiregrass Transit Authority serving Dothan, Enterprise, Dale County and Houston County.