For many older Arkansans, going back to work is not an option — it’s a necessity that sometimes comes with challenges.

Older adults who lack the right skills to compete for jobs have a local resource that might offer the help they need to get back into the workforce.

Experience Works, Inc. will be taking applications on March 19, 2019 from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the Van Buren Library, 409 Main Street. 

The nonprofit organization Experience Works, Inc. operates the Senior Community Service Employment Program or SCSEP in 42 Arkansas counties including Crawford. The U.S. Department of Labor-funded program is geared for people 55 and older who are unemployed, with limited annual incomes and limited job prospects. The program is free and available to those who qualify.

“It’s an excellent way for older adults to earn a paycheck while they update job skills and discover new career possibilities, plus their efforts have a positive impact in their communities.” says Amy Risk, Arkansas state program manager for Experience Works. “The connection is especially important in counties where jobs are scarce but older people still need to work to make ends meet.”

Participants spend an average of 20 hours each week in paid community service assignments at public and nonprofit organizations, earning minimum wage. Examples include performing clerical and administrative duties at nonprofits; sorting donations at food banks; preparing meals and recreation at senior centers; or assisting in classrooms and libraries. They also have access to a variety of training and supportive services such as developing a resume; improving interview skills; and identifying job opportunities.

The SCSEP is a stepping stone to employment. According to Risk, there are many instances when SCSEP participants are hired by the organizations where they are training.

If that’s not possible, Experience Works offers job-search support to assist them in securing unsubsidized employment.

For more information and to schedule an appointment, contact Experience Works, Inc. at 870.933.9696, ext. 3, or visit www.experienceworks.org.