Last week, National Able Network’s Senior Services team celebrated the Senior Community Service Employment Program’s 50th Anniversary at a conference held in Washington D.C.! The conference honored the great work that the national, state, and sub-grantees of the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) have accomplished over the last five decades! It also focused heavily on the future of SCSEP and how grantees can continue to grow and improve their services to older workers in America.

Fifty years ago, the first SCSEP participants were working with the Green Thumb Project, which was sponsored by the National Farmers Union in 1965. Currently, SCSEP participants are working at host agencies doing a myriad of tasks, often involving new technology. Many of the workshops offered at the conference were senior-centric and focused on the ever changing workforce. These workshop topics included The Changing Workforce and the Impact for an Older Worker, The Older Entrepreneur with a Growing Idea, Fresh Strategies for Older Adults to Overcome Employment Barriers, Each One, Teach One: SCSEP Participants Using iPads to Reduce the Digital Divide among Older Adults, and many more. National Able Network hosted its own workshop regarding seniors and technology – “Social Media: Reshaping Communication in our Society.” National Able Network’s Vice President of Workforce Development, Patricia Wilkins, Director of Training, Bryan Dalton, Senior Training Specialist, Fred Hairston, and Communications Specialist, Megan Hammond hosted the workshop which offered strategies for senior outreach and recruitment via social media, as well as using social media to prevent senior social isolation. Patricia and Bryan were also featured as panelists for the Success Through Computer Training workshop, which discussed how computer training can be successful, relevant, and transformative for SCSEP participants.

Along with the daily workshops, the conference also held daily plenary sessions with brilliant experts from the Workforce Development sector, such as Dr. Mary Gatta, Ernest Gonzales, Kathy Greenlee, Martha Roherty, Scott B. Sanders, and more!

On Thursday, the conference attendees were invited to attend a reception held at the Russell Senate Office Building, where they met and networked with fellow SCSEP grantees as well as participated in the launch of www.SCSEP50.org – a new website which offers a more in depth view of the SCSEP as well as resources for seniors and senior-friendly employers.

On behalf of National Able Network’s Senior Services team, I would like to say what a great time we had in Washington D.C. with our fellow SCSEP grantees! Here’s to 50 more wonderful years of this wonderful program! Check out photos from the conference below:

The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) is  funded by the United States Department of Labor and delivered by SCSEP grantees. If you are interested in learning more about the SCSEP, please visit our website or contact us at 855-994-8300.