Urge Congress to Help Older Workers

In 2019, roughly 1 in 5 older adults aged 65+ was still in the workforce. Nearly three-quarters were working at jobs where teleworking was not an option. The pandemic has put these seniors at a double risk: being furloughed/laid off or being forced to go into a workplace and put their health at risk. 

For older adults, losing a job can be especially difficult. Older workers are more likely to remain out of work for lengthier periods of time compared to their younger counterparts; some may choose not to return to the workforce at all. The significant long-term unemployment of older workers seen during the Great Recession is emerging again.

An issue brief from NCOA and LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston examined the financial impact of the Great Recession on adults aged 60+ and found that older adults with the least net wealth and who are still in the workforce will likely see some of the greatest negative impacts of COVID-19.

It is time for Congress to invest in the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) as it did during the Great Recession. SCSEP provides subsidized job training and placement assistance to help low-income, unemployed individuals aged 55+ find work and get back on the path to financial stability. 

NCOA joined other SCSEP national sponsors and members of the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO) in urging Congress to provide an additional $500 million in funding for SCSEP in the next COVID-19 stimulus and relief bill. Additional funding will more than double the program’s current capacity to serve between 56,000 to 128,000 additional eligible individuals that need SCSEP services. 

Add your voice to the call to increase SCSEP funding. Use the form on this page to send your email. Be sure to personalize your message to ensure it gets the attention it deserves. Consider including stories such as:

  • An older adult struggling with unemployment
  • How SCSEP has helped an older adult make ends meet and get on better financial footing.
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