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ETA News Release: [08/31/2010]
Contact Name: Mike Trupo or Lina Garcia
Phone Number: (202) 693-3414 or x4661
Release Number: 10-1203-NAT

US Department of Labor announces final rule for Senior Community Service Employment Program

New rule will allow for extension of individual participation time

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration today announced a final rule regarding the Senior Community Service Employment Program. The final rule strengthens program aspects that will benefit unemployed, low-income older Americans who want to enter or re-enter the workforce. The rule will be effective on Oct.1.

The Senior Community Service Employment Program authorized by Title V of the Older Americans Act is the only federally-sponsored employment and training program targeted specifically to unemployed, low-income seniors. The program has dual goals of promoting community service and helping SCSEP participants achieve economic self-sufficiency by guiding them into unsubsidized employment, where appropriate.

"This new rule will make it possible for grantees to support older workers through job training programs that will ultimately help them enter or re-enter the workforce," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training Jane Oates. "We took feedback provided from the public very seriously and incorporated it into this final rulemaking."

The final rule promulgates the 2006 amendments to the OAA, which include a new 48-month limitation on participation, and an increase in available funds for training and supportive services. The final rule implements the statute's requirements that national SCSEP grants be re-competed regularly - generally every four years - aand that a state compete its SCSEP grant if the current grantee fails to meet its core performance goals for three consecutive years.

In addition, the 2006 OAA establishes new funding opportunities for pilot, demonstration and evaluation projects; expands the priority-for-service categories; and modifies how the program determines income eligibility. Major changes from the notice of proposed rulemaking to the final rule, based on input from grantees and the public, include the following:

  • The elimination of the one-year, one-time restriction on extensions of individual participation.
  • The elimination of the 1,300-hour annual participant time limit.
  • The reinforcement of the dual goals of SCSEP, as well as the focus on services that are appropriate to individual participants.