Suffolk seniors looking for work have an ally in AARP

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Are you at least 55 years old and looking for a job?

The AARP Foundation Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) can help you sharpen your skills, obtain training, find a job, and is the first step back to the job market. Edith DeLoatch and Christine Coty staff members of the SCSEP explained this job opportunity recently to seniors at their monthly luncheon at East End Baptist Church. The Suffolk office where Coty is employed is located at 157 N. Main St. across the street from the Suffolk Circuit Courthouse. DeLoatch is employed as a recruiter in the Norfolk office at 201 Granby St. in Norfolk.

DeLoatch pointed out that requirements must meet three eligibilities; you must be age 55 or older, must live in the city served by the AARP SCSEP office and must have a low or limited income. She also said that not all income is counted so it is best to contact the SCSEP office for details.

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“We have immediate part-time job openings in Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Franklin and Suffolk that include clerical, data entry, bookkeeping, food service, housekeeping, teacher’s aide, custodial, warehouse, maintenance and grounds-keeping positions,” she said.

She also said that they help with resumes, job applications, interviewing techniques and will refer you to the type of training or job that is best for you based on your individual employment plan. The most important thing is that no fees are ever involved.

The goal of the SCSEP Program is to ensure seniors over 55 that they can lead lives of independence and to help them to succeed.

She said that what the applicant can expect from SCSEP while he is in a temporary training status is first the SCSEP will assess your skills, experience, aptitude and goals. You will then be assigned for temporary on-the-job training to a community “Host Agency” or other training provider. A host agency is a nonprofit or public agency such as a food bank, library, hospital, day care program, social service group, or other organization. You will work 20 hours a week and will be paid at least the minimum wage. Also during that time SCSEP will work with you to find a permanent part-time or full-time job.

After the presentation a free raffle was held that included three door prizes.

The AARP Foundation is AARP’s affiliated charity and the employment program is under the umbrella of AARP. Foundation programs provide security, protection and empowerment for older persons in need. The foundation’s litigation staff protects the legal rights of older Americans in critical health, long-term care, and consumer and employment situations.

As far as job referrals and placement of jobs are concerned the SCSEP know the local job market and employers; therefore, they can refer qualified SCSEP applicants to employers who have job openings because many offices work closely with the local One-Stop Career Center.

There are 100 or more AARP SCSEP programs in 29 states and Puerto Rico.

For more information about the SCSEP program or to schedule a seminar call the main office at 625-7001 Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.- 4 p.m.