UCHRA receives grant to aid older workers

Senior Service America, Inc. awards $224,354grant directed to assist in workforce training for older workers

COOKEVILLE – The Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency (UCHRA) was recently awarded a grant of $224,354 from Senior Service America, Inc (SSAI). Almost 90 percent of this grant – originally from the U.S. Department of Labor – will provide temporary employment to at least 43 low-income older adults living in Clay, Cumberland, Jackson, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, and White counties. These older adults will participate in the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) a cornerstone program of the Older Americans Act. 

SCSEP, the only federal job training program targeted exclusively to low income seniors, promotes personal dignity and self-sufficiency through work. Its temporary part-time community service jobs provide a hand-up, not a hand-out for older, unemployed low-income Americans. The SCSEP allows eligible persons to participate for up to four years, but the average tenure nationally is 18 months with the experience and training they receive leading them to permanent employment. 

SSAI delivers various career training programs for low-income workers, age 55 and up, through a network of local partners in 33 states, DC and Puerto Rico. As the second largest U.S. Department of Labor National Grantee of SCSEP, SSAI operates in thirteen (13) states. In its 51-year history as a SCSEP grantee, SSAI has placed more than 14,000 older workers into permanent employment through the SCSEP program. 

“Our long-term, local partners are a key to the strength of SSAI and provide the systems to train older Americans into strategic advantage for employers and the country,” said Gary A. Officer, SSAI President and CEO. “We are very pleased to continue our support of the Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency for the 13th consecutive year.” 

“This program delivers a triple win for older adults and the whole community,” said UCHRA Executive Director, Mark Farley. “First, SCSEP participants are helping more than a dozen local community, faith-based, and public agencies carry out their mission, including Art Circle Library, Clay County Museum, Millard Oakley Library and White County Public Library. Second, older workers are remaining active, vital members of their community. 

“Most importantly, SCSEP provides a pathway to self-sufficiency through the dignity of work for our most vulnerable community members: low-income individuals age 55 and over who are not job ready and have the toughest employment challenges,” Farley added. “The grant through SSAI is vital to our being able to deliver this program in our community.” 

About Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency 

The Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency (UCHRA) was established by the Tennessee General Assembly in 1973 to be the delivery system for human resources in the fourteen counties of the region. The programs operated by UCHRA initially included job training and transportation. During ensuing years, the UCHRA has expanded to supply a wide range of services that use a combination of funds from federal, state and local organizations. 

About Senior Service America, Inc. 

Senior Service America, Inc. (SSAI) is the only national organization dedicated exclusively to employment for low- income workers over age 50 in both the public and private sectors. During the last five decades, SSAI has partnered with more than 5,000 employers to train nearly half-a million workers. Our services focus on adults who have been traditionally underserved by workforce development programs including older, low-income women, Veterans, and workers with records. For more information, please visit www.seniorserviceamerica.org. 

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