Helpful Senior Employment Programs to Know

May 7th 2016

A number of employment programs help seniors start new careers or find jobs to supplement their retirement incomes. Ranging from private companies to state and federal initiatives, these programs provide the tools, resources and support to help older folks get a foot in the workforce. The Senior Community Employment Program, the Senior Environmental Employment Program and AARP's Career Center are some of the most trusted programs and employment resources available to seniors throughout the nation.

The Senior Community Service Employment Program

Authorized by the Older Americans Act, the Senior Community Service Employment Program began its services in 1965 and now stands as the largest federally funded senior employment program in the country. The program targets low-income, unemployed seniors, and most participants find jobs making minimum wage while serving their local communities in a public agency or non-profit setting. This provides them the training and experience they need to find employment outside the program. To be eligible, participants must be 55 or older, make no more than 125 percent of the poverty level in household income and be legally able to work. Some requirements may be waived for veterans, homeless individuals, disabled individuals and those who are over age 65. The program is overseen by the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration.

The EPA's Senior Environmental Employment Program

Unemployed and retired Americans who are over age 55 can work while helping to support important environmental initiatives through the Senior Environmental Employment Program established by the Environmental Protection Agency. Candidates can apply to jobs at research centers, labs and offices throughout the country, and they can choose from temporary, part-time and full-time work, depending on their income needs. As professional, clerical and technical workers, their duties may range from monitoring air pollution and conducting asbestos surveys in schools to performing inventories of water supplies. Environmental facilities at the federal and state level implement the program.

The AARP Career Center

The AARP offers numerous resources for those who are age 50 and above, including a list of top employers for seniors, job-hunting articles and a job-search database with openings that welcome older workers. The organization's website also offers forums for older workers, part-time job ideas and extensive information for starting a business. Although many of these resources are free, seniors gain access to AARP's additional resources and discounts upon registering for a membership and paying a small annual fee.

Seniors have plenty of programs and resources available to help them find work in fields that interest them. In addition to these employment programs, seniors can also check out Not Yet Retired, and Maturity Works for tips, job search engines and post-retirement information.

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