The idea behind this program is to reinstate in the workforce those seniors that have retired but need some additional income and want to keep on having a productive life.
By: Edda Pujadas
DORAL, FL – Are you 55 or older, do not have a job and are searching for one? This is your opportunity. The City of Doral has just approved an employment program for senior citizens that they will be developing together with the AARP Foundation.
This was informed by Maggie Santos, Communications and Protocol Manager for the City of Doral. She explains that this program was approved for a term of one year, starting on May 1st, 2019. “We are conducting this program jointly with the AARP Foundation who launched their Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) more than 45 years ago.”
Santos adds that the main objective of this program is to help those senior citizens that are unemployed and have a low income, but that can still be productive and get experience and training in temporary and subsidized jobs. These jobs can then provide them with the abilities to later transition to a permanent job. This program is at no cost to the City.
This employment program for seniors 55 or older was promoted by Councilwoman Christi Fraga who is very satisfied with the approval of the City of Doral Council. “I believe that with the exception of those with a health problem, seniors 55 or older are not so old and should have the opportunity to keep on being part of the workforce.”
“People interested must apply and comply with certain parameters to qualify, the idea is to help these senior citizens to get back to the workforce, so they do not spend all the time at their homes and for those that need a minimum wage, this will help them afford certain expenses. They can apply through AARP or at the City of Doral through my office,” stated Councilwoman Fraga.
Fraga, who worked on the approval of this program since February of this year, stated that in this AARP employment system for senior citizens there are several non-profit organizations involved. The salaries correspond to a minimum of 20 hours a week and are paid by AARP through a federal program; therefore these do not carry any expense for the City of Doral.
“I believe that in Doral we have a senior citizen community that is very active although they are retired, they still have a lot to offer and also need an additional income. Many persons feel that they can offer their experience and knowledge and with this program, they will be able to be part of the active society, get an income and create new social relationships.”
Councilwoman Fraga, who explained that one of these senior citizens will be working for the City of Doral, believes that this person will be of great help and will also promote in the senior citizens their vocation for public service. She also stated that if there is any non-profit foundation who wants access to this program, they can contact her directly.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The SCSEP Program from AARP is operated through a grant from the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration, it operates in 70 locations distributed in 22 states and Puerto Rico. Since its inception, the program has assisted more than half a million senior citizens, training them for the workplace. Just as an example, in the last year more than twelve thousand participants have gotten assistance and there have been more than five million hours of community service.
Each SCSEP participant or member is placed on a temporary assignment with a non-profit community organization or a federal, state, county or city organization. While they work for these organizations, the members earn the legal minimum wage fee for each hour of training that they receive.
While they are enrolled in the program, the members get in contact directly with the SCSEP program director in their local AARP office. This director is familiar with the local workforce marketplace and with the labor abilities that have the highest demand within the community. They also work in close collaboration with the employers, and they understand the skills required, the workforce environments and the available job opportunities.
As a candidate of the program, applicants must be evaluated to determine their eligibility for the enrollment. The eligibility is based on age, residency, employment status and the income guidelines established by the Department of Labor. Once the application is accepted, then the process to assign the person to an organization starts, the evaluation of the person’s abilities, the orientation program, assistance to establish the job goals and the references needed for the job opportunities.
It is important to take into consideration that the basic requirements of this program are to be 55 or older, provide the income that the person is receiving at the time of registration, be unemployed at that time, to be a resident of the area that hosts the program and to be legally authorized to work in the United States.
It is also essential that the candidates of this program understand that according to the labor regulations of the United States, the maximum time that a member can be registered, cumulatively speaking in any SCSEP program is 48 months, counting since their registration.
Those that are interested in participating in this program may contact the City of Doral at 305.593.6725, 8401 NW 53 Terrace, Doral, FL 33162, or go directly to the AARP Foundation located at 8360 W. Flagler St, Suite 205, Miami, FL 33144, or contact 305-698-3436 to apply.