Helping Workers 55+ During COVID-19
Older workers are playing an increasingly important role in our economy. In fact, over 40% of Americans aged 55+ were employed in 2019, making up over 25% of the U.S. labor force. At Palmetto Goodwill, we help seniors find work, develop new skills and talents, and build financial security.
For years, Palmetto Goodwill has worked to provide job training and employment services to older workers – ages 55 and over through the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). To ensure the safety of SCSEP participants during COVID-19, we’ve implemented virtual trainings and work experiences in anticipation of upcoming job opportunities. Additionally, our team of Career Navigators has developed a laptop loan-out program to assist participants interested in training who may not have a device at home suitable for this self-paced certification program.
Below are a few stories from participants regarding their recent experience with SCSEP during 2020:
Roger | Charleston, SC
Before enrolling in Palmetto Goodwill’s SCSEP program, Roger worked as a Pharmacy Tech with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Unfortunately, life challenges prevented him from continuing his beloved profession. In December 2020, Roger has been attending online classes from the comfort of his own home as part of his SCSEP training. Through Palmetto Goodwill, he was able to secure his loaner laptop and MiFi card.
During this time, Palmetto Goodwill has also been able to assist Roger in other areas of his life. Goodwill has assisted with Roger’s utility payments and outstanding charges with the SC Department of Motor Vehicles that have prevented Roger from driving for more than 10 years.
On January 13, 2021, Roger was finally able to re-obtain his driver’s license and is excited to return to competitive work now that transportation is not a barrier to employment.
Ruby | Murrells Inlet, SC
Technological proficiency came late in life for Ruby, but she’s proving it’s never too late to learn. Ruby does not drive and lives on a small island accessible only by boat. To some people, she could appear to be living in another era before modern conveniences such as cars, computers, and the Internet. She was afraid of technology and did not see the need for it at her age. However, having to stay home during COVID-19, Ruby realized her lack of communication with others and lack of access to training was putting her at a disadvantage.
Ruby worked with a Goodwill SCSEP coordinator to create her first email account. With the guidance of her coordinator, Ruby has learned how to send, retrieve, and maintain her new email account which has allowed her to stay in better contact with friends and family. Ruby has also been using email to communicate with her agency training site. As a result, Ruby has been able to access training materials to complete at home.
Now, Ruby is looking forward to the day she becomes an expert at sending text messages.
If you or someone you know may be interested in Goodwill’s SCSEP program, please fill out our contact form and we’ll be in touch to discuss your individual needs.