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For Immediate Release

Easterseals takes on unemployment among older adults

Chicago, Ill., December 8, 2016

Media Contact:
Cassie DeVries

Easterseals, the indispensable resource for people facing disabilities, announced a $23.6 million grant from the US Department of Labor for the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). In 2015, over 33 million older adults aged 55 and older were unemployed (BLS) and by 2020, it’s estimated this valuable population will make up a quarter of the U.S. civilian labor force.  Easterseals will continue to assist many more mature workers through SCSEP.

SCSEP is a federal employment program for adults over the age of 55 with family incomes under 125% of the federal poverty income guidelines. This program provides paid training and employment assistance through community service projects at nonprofit and public organizations. 

“As a SCSEP Employment Program Trainee, I have learned that I am not facing these barriers alone and have been given the opportunity to contribute my existing skills and to acquire new and current skills,” said Wanda Malone, Easterseals SCSEP client. “Easterseals SCSEP has allowed me to approach each day with a renewed level of confidence and determination.”

“Easterseals and the SCSEP program were there for me when I needed them.” said Phyllis Buchanan, SCSEP participant. “And then after the complete training I received they found me my dream job. Now I get to connect people to the services and resources they need, hear the joy in their voices and see the relief on their faces, much like I experienced when I first learned about Easterseals and SCSEP,  what could be better?”

To date, Easterseals has supported over 38,000 older adults helping them gain viable employment, achieve economic independence, and have confidence in their futures.    

“SCSEP benefits not only the older adults involved, but also the organizations gaining hardworking, qualified new employees” said Randy Rutta, President and CEO, Easterseals. “This population has so much to offer in skills, perspective, and enthusiasm. We are thrilled to receive this grant, and look forward to building off nearly 15 years of furthering the contributions of older adults in the workforce and our communities.” 

The grant was allocated across ten Easterseals locations:

Easterseals Oregon

·         Easterseals New Jersey

·         Easterseals New York

·         Easterseals Central Alabama

·         Easterseals-Goodwill Miami Valley

·         Easterseals-Goodwill Northern Rocky Mountain

·         Easterseals-Goodwill of the Gulf Coast

·         Easterseals Oklahoma

·         Easterseals Southwest Human Development

·         Easterseals Cook County, IL

About Easterseals

For nearly 100 years Easterseals has been the indispensable resource for people and families challenged by disabilities. Now, as America faces a broad range of new issues, we make a major, positive, life-changing difference in the lives of people and families facing today’s disabilities. The work we do every day is redefining disabilities for the 21st century. For more information, please visit easterseals.com.

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