What does a program like the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) mean for its participants? For James Maxey (“Maxey”), it means having less stress about money.“Now, instead of me asking somebody for money, I am earning enough on my own,” Maxey said.
SCSEP is a community service and work-based job training program for adults who are age 55 and older. The program offers paid, on-the-job training for older workers who have low incomes and are unemployed. SCSEP participants train in local agencies and nonprofits like hospitals, libraries, schools and senior centers. As we celebrate National Employ Older Workers Week September 20 through September 26, Maxey exemplifies the benefits of investing in older workers.
Officially retiring when he was 62 years old, Maxey quickly discovered he needed more income than what he received from Social Security. Utilizing a temp agency, he found work, but the positions were short-term and did not lead to a secure and permanent job. Maxey realized he needed to gain more skills to land stable employment, so he joined the SCSEP program.
Older workers who are learning valuable skills in the SCSEP program have one goal in mind — stable employment. With the help of his SCSEP Guide, Josh Kupke, Maxey realized and achieved this goal in the middle of the pandemic. In July, Goodwill Commercial Services hired Maxey for a janitorial position at Christel House Academy. He now works to keep buildings clean and sanitized so that its occupants can remain safe and healthy.
“I am really thankful for SCSEP because this job gives me finances, plus it keeps me moving instead of sitting around not doing anything,” explained Maxey. “My hobby is working, so this job is the right fit for me.”
Maxey is quick to point out how being part of the SCSEP program helped him transition from struggling in retirement to gaining stability in more ways than one.
“I bought a car because of SCSEP and this job; first time I was able to do that in a long, long time,” he said. “Now, I am never behind on my bills, my credit score went up significantly and even my blood pressure is down!”
To learn more about Goodwill’s SCSEP program or to apply, please visit goodwillindy.org/seniors.