Congress went home for the year-end holidays without extending unemployment benefits to 1.3 million long-term unemployed.  As of today, those benefits have not been restored.  Unemployment at any age, is a definite challenge, but  for older workers, it is disaster; statistics show that it takes 50- and 60-year-olds about twice as long to find work (if they ever do) as people 40 and younger.

The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) is a community service and work based training program for older workers. SCSEP provides subsidized, community service-based training opportunities for low-income persons 55 or older who are unemployed and have poor employment prospects.  SCSEP is the only federally funded program for unemployed older workers.

SCSEP is authorized by the Older Americans Act (Title V), which is currently up for reauthorization.  Sen. Bernie Sanders, chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging, today introduced legislation to reauthorize and strengthen the Older Americans Act.

National SCSEP Grantees met jointly in Washington DC in December, 2013 to discuss the reauthorization of the Older American’s Act with Senator Sanders.  Senator Sanders urged National Grantees to continue ” to educate, rally and organize”

We applaud his continued efforts and we encourage Congress to act quickly to reauthorize this important legislation to continue funding and support for SCSEP and other programs administered through this act.