- The North Missourian - http://gallatinnorthmissourian.com -

Older Americans Month – Safe Today, Healthy Tomorrow

Experience Works, the nation’s largest organization serving older workers through the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) invites Missourians to participate in May’s Older Americans Month, by recognizing older Americans for their contributions and join in our nation’s commitment to helping them stay healthy and active.

This year’s theme is “Safe Today, Healthy Tomorrow,” and focuses on injury prevention and safety to encourage older adults to protect themselves and remain active and independent for as long as possible. Experience Works is committed to building bridges to opportunity for low-income older Americans to connect them with community resources that can enhance their quality of life – one that is safe, self-sufficient, and engaged.

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Betty Edwards is library assistant at Daviess County Public Library. [Submitted Photo]

Through the SCSEP, older Americans like Betty Edwards, 80-year-old of Winston, are placed in community service assignments to update job skills while making a difference in their community. In many assignments, participants have the opportunity to help others stay safe and healthy.

As a library assistant at the Daviess County Public Library in Gallatin, Edwards assists with shelving of books, keeping order of the periodicals, and assisting patrons. While she learns valuable skills, the library benefits from an expanded workforce that helps meet the increasing need for its services.

“Older Americans Month is the perfect time to remind Missourians that Experience Works is an important community resource for older individuals and their communities,” says Debb Trautloff, Northwest Missouri Employment and Training Coordinator for Experience Works.  “We are currently seeking qualified applicants in Daviess County to fill limited openings in the program.”

Experience Works’ SCSEP is free to those who meet the eligibility criteria and provides paid community service training as a stepping stone to permanent jobs with local employers. Program applicants must be age 55 or older, unemployed, live in Daviess County, and have incomes of $14,588 per year or less for a family of one, $19,663 for family of two. (Call for additional guidelines for more family members.)

Trautloff also wants to connect with public and nonprofit organizations interested in becoming community partners… “With an increased number of community partners, we can better serve older individuals – and that translates into healthier and stronger communities.”

SCSEP is funded through the U.S. Department of Labor and administered by Experience Works, Inc., a national nonprofit organization. For more information on becoming a community partner, or enrolling in the program, call Experience Works toll-free 1-877-872-4740, or visit www.experienceworks.org.