TARCOG helps senior citizens train, secure part-time jobs

MADISON – Are you 55 years old (or older) and want to work part time? A local agency, Top of Alabama Regional Council of Governments or TARCOG, can assist with the job-search process.

TARCOG provides paid training, work experience and extra income to senior citizens who are 55 years old and older who want to re-enter the workforce on a part-time basis. TARCOG’s Senior Employment staff will discuss income limits and other qualifications with interested residents.

These senior citizens most commonly take jobs in security work, custodial or maintenance needs, food service, office support, retail and driving/transportation, according to John Sanders, Director of Senior Employment for TARCOG.

The Senior Community Service Employment Program or SCSEP has an important role in locating jobs. TARCOG is SCSEP’s local sponsor.

“SCSEP participants work at several nonprofit or government agencies that partner with TARCOG. The agencies train the participants to do the duties they need done. The SCSEP program pays their wages from grant funding,” Sanders said.

Participants earn $7.34 per hour, based on Federal Minimum Wage, and work an average of 20 hours weekly.

Each facing different circumstances, many TARCOG clients encounter various challenges in finding a job. Lack of transportation, documented disability or health issue, lack of substantial employment history or needing a high-school diploma” are examples, Sanders said. “This program provides an opportunity to work around some of those obstacles.”

“The SCSEP program is based on age and income, so prospective participants are screened” for eligibility,” Sanders said. “Participants must be at least 55, unemployed and have a family income of no more than 125 percent of the federal poverty level.”

Enrollment priority goes to veterans and qualified spouses, followed by individuals who are older than 65 or have a disability, low literacy skills, limited English proficiency; reside in a rural area; are homeless or at risk of homelessness; have low employment prospects; or did not find employment after using American Job Center.

TARCOG serves communities throughout DeKalb, Jackson, Limestone, Madison and Marshall counties. The staff identifies common regional issues, opportunities and challenges for these residents.

For more information or to see if you qualify, call TARCOG at 256-716-2666.

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