Celebrating National Employ Older Workers Week with Donna Roberson

    [fa icon="calendar"] Sep 29, 2023 3:00:00 PM / by Noelle Gray

    Noelle Gray

    Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana is proud to continue our recognition of National Employ Older Workers Week, a period to acknowledge and increase awareness of the contributions older workers have in our workforce. This commemorative week also highlights the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), a work-based training program for older adults available across the nation.

    Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana’s SCSEP operates in 13 Indiana counties, providing Hoosiers ages 55+ opportunities for paid, on-the-job training that can open doors to potential careers. Donna Roberson is just one of many participants who found a successful pathway to employment through the program.

    In 2020, Donna enrolled in Goodwill SCSEP, hoping to secure and maintain employment in spite of several health barriers, including spinal bifida and post-traumatic stress disorder. 


    “I would have a lot of pain and back-to-back doctor appointments,” said Donna. “Most jobs wouldn’t hire me.”

    However, Donna found empathy and understanding in Goodwill SCSEP and its staff. While training at a local community partner, she was able to attend appointments, rest on her most painful days and prioritize her health and well-being.

    “SCSEP works with you and understands those barriers,” said Donna. “It’s a program I would recommend for any older adult with any barrier.”

    Participation in the program benefited Donna’s ability to take care of her physical health and directly affected her financial health. By maintaining a steady income from the training stipend, Donna’s income was put toward two new cars, debt payments and other vital contributions to her household.

    “I’m more independent,” said Donna.


    Goodwill SCSEP participants work closely with program staff, including a coach who helps them practice new skills and advance to regular employment. Through welcoming classes, hands-on experiences and aid from her coach, Donna felt the support, encouragement and assurance she needed to grow into her career path.

    “SCSEP gave me the confidence, the know-how and the strength to get a full-time job,” said Donna.

    Due to her participation in Goodwill SCSEP, Donna has transitioned into a full-time job with benefits and a family-sustaining wage. In the near future, she’s planning on buying a new home with her husband. She’s proud of her achievements and her identity as an older worker.

    “It’s amazing,” said Donna. “I’m so blessed.”

    Topics: Employment, Disability, Success Story, Senior Community Service Employment Program, Mission Awareness

    Noelle Gray

    Written by Noelle Gray

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