Project Summary

The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) engages older adults in on-the-job training with the goal to secure unsubsidized employment. Participants are ages 55 years and older, have incomes at or below 125% of the federal poverty level, and experience multiple barriers to employment. As a part of the Older Americans Act of 1965, SCSEP is the only federal workforce training program designed to target older adults. Using participatory, qualitative, and quantitative research methods, Dr. Halvorsen and colleagues pursue projects that aim to better understand the impact of SCSEP on the lives of participants and their communities.

Key Findings

  • SCSEP is the only federal workforce training program that targets older adults.
  • Participants must be age 55 years or older, have incomes at or below 125% of the federal poverty level, and experience multiple barriers to employment.
  • Participatory research by Cal Halvorsen of the Center on Aging & Work at Boston College and Kelsey Werner of the Center for Social Innovation at Boston College found that SCSEP not only influences the financial well-being of older participants, it influences their physical, mental, and social well-being as well.

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Project Support

Funding from the Boston College Research Incentive Grant and the Schiller Institute for Integrated Science and Society Grants for Exploratory Collaborative Scholarship. A key partner is the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs.