In what's being billed as a "win-win situation", the City of Duluth has received grant money to provide jobs for low-income older adults - with local non-profits benefiting from the labor.

The City of Duluth Workforce Development has received a grant of $263,552 from Senior Service America, Inc. Almost 90 percent of this funding--originally from the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL)—will pay wages and benefits to at least 42 low-income older adults living in St. Louis County to work in temporary, part-time jobs through June 30, 2015. These older adults will participate in the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), established by the Older Americans Act more than 40 years ago. Administered by USDOL, SCSEP is the only federal government program mandated to assist unemployed older adults seeking to rejoin the workforce. The City of Duluth Workforce Development is one of five local partner agencies operating SCSEP in Minnesota.

While employed as SCSEP participants, the older workers will be assigned to almost 20 local nonprofit and government agencies, including the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency, Duluth Playhouse, Duluth Playhouse, Minnesota Citizens Federation, Life House, and United Way of Greater Duluth. The older workers also will receive on-the-job training to enhance their opportunities in the local job market. Previous participants have pursued second careers or improved their technology skills through this program.

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