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Senior Community Service Employment Program

Program Descriptions

Program Number



Senior Community Service Employment Program


Federal Agency




Older Americans Act of 1965, Title V, as amended by Public Law 109-365; (OAA-2006); 120 Stat. 2522, 42 U.S.C. 3001.






To foster individual economic self sufficiency; provide training in meaningful part-time opportunities in community service activities for unemployed lowincome persons who are age 55 years of age or older, particularly persons who have poor employment prospects; and to increase the number of older persons who may enjoy the benefits of unsubsidized employment in both the public and private sectors.


Types of Assistance

Formula Grants; Project Grants.


Uses and Use Restrictions

Organizations that receive grants use the funds to create and pay for part-time community service training positions for persons age 55 and above whose income is at or below 125 percent of the poverty level. The individuals who are enrolled may be trained in work assignments at local service agencies (e.g., schools, hospitals, day care centers, park systems, etc.). A portion of the funds may be used to provide participants with classroom training and supportive services. No more than 13.5 percent of the Federal share of the costs may be spent for administration. (If justified, a waiver to 15 percent may be provided by the Department of Labor.) Participants may not train in projects involving political activities, sectarian activities, nor may participants displace any employed worker or perform work which impairs existing contracts for service. Each local project is required to coordinate its activities with local Workforce Investment Act projects and One-Stop Career Centers and the State Office of the Aging.


Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

The following types of organizations are eligible to receive grants: (1) states and U.S. territories; (2) national public and private non-profit institutions/organizations, other than political parties but including faith-based and community organizations; and (3) tribal organizations.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Adults 55 years or older with a family income at or below 125 percent of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) poverty level. Prospective participants must provide documentation relative to age and personal financial status which is required to determine whether the individual is program eligible. With certain exceptions, the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey definition of income governs the determination of SCSEP applicant income eligibility. Section 518 (a)(3)(A)OAA-2006 specifies that any income that is unemployment compensation, a benefit received under title XVI of the Social security Act; a payment made to or on behalf of veterans or former members of the Armed forces under the laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or 25 percent of a benefit received under title II of the Social Security Act is excluded from SCSEP income eligibility determinations.


Applicants must meet the eligibility test under Section 514(c) and the responsibility test under Section 514(d) of the Older Americans Act.


Application and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her state for more information on the process the state requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the state has selected the program for review.

Application Procedure

National nonprofit organizations are required under Section 502(d) of the Older Americans Act to submit an application to the state agency, in addition to the Department of Labor. The Division of Adult Services in the Employment and Training Administration will provide information concerning proper application, format, and content and furnish standard application forms. Governors may comment on SCSEP grant proposals prior to award and may make recommendations to the Secretary of Labor to improve the distribution of SCSEP services.

Award Procedure

Awards are made directly to eligible applicants by the Employment and Training Administration of the Department of Labor.


Contact the Department of Labor for application deadlines.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Approximately eight weeks.


Appeals may be filed according to the regulations at 20 CFR 641.900.



Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

The statutory allocation formula at Section 506 of OAA -2006 provides for the distribution of funds on the basis of a hold-harmless factor, the number of persons aged 55 and over residing in each state and the per capita income (PCI) in each state. The statistical sources used for fund allocation are based on census data. Below the state level, funds are distributed on the basis of persons over the age of 55 at or below 125 percent of the poverty guidelines as determined by the DHHS and Census P-60 Current Population Reports. Grantees must provide or arrange through third parties at least 10 percent of the cost of the project from non-Federal sources. The grantee share of the cost may be contributed in cash or in-kind. This program has Maintenance of Effort requirements described at Section 502(b)(1)(G) of OAA-2006 and 20 CFR 641.844 of the 2004 Final Rule.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Funding is provided annually. The program year runs from July 1 to June 30.


Post Assistance Requirements


(1) Quarterly Progress Reports; (2) Quarterly Financial Status Report (FSR); (3) Annual Equitable Distribution Report; and (4) A 4-year strategic State Plan, to be reviewed and updated no less frequently than every two years. The Quarterly Progress Reports are generated by the SCSEP Performance and Results QPR (SPARQ) system located within the Department of Labor. All other reports are submitted electronically by the grantees. For the quarterly FSR, permitted applicant organizational costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular Nos. A-87 for state and local governments, and A-122 for nonprofit organizations.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of states, local governments, and nonprofit organizations," nonfederal entities that receive financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards shall have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.


Normally to be retained by the grant or contract recipient for a three-year period following the completion of the grant or contract. Grantees are required to submit participant data via high-speed Internet access to a DOL-sponsored data collection system.


Financial Information

Account Identification



(National program grants) FY 07 $375,000,000; FY 08 est $391,000,000; FY 09 est $273,000,000 (State program grants) FY 07 $109,000,000; FY 08 est $131,000,000; and FY 09 est $77,000,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Grant awards have ranged from $86 million to $330,000.


Program Accomplishments

For Program Year (PY) 2006, 60,400 subsidized, part-time training positions were available. Approximately 93,500 people were served in these positions in PY 2006. Approximately 20,000 participants exited the program to begin a job. In a typical program year, approximately 74 grant awards are made.


Regulations, Guidelines and Literature

20 CFR 641; Training and Employment Guidance Letters, Training and Employment Notices, previously issued Older Worker Bulletins that are still in effect and other SCSEP directives.


Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Region 1, Dana Bourne, Telephone: (617) 788-0122; Region 2, Chantal Watler, Telephone: (215) 861-5224; Region 3, Deborah Bradley, Telephone: (404) 302- 5379; Region 4, Marilyn Brandenburg, Telephone: (214) 767-2257; Region 5, Celeste Moerle, Telephone: (312)596-5422; Region 6, Ingrid Nyberg, Telephone: (415) 625-7947.

Headquarters Office

Judith Gilbert, Division of Adult Services, Office of Workforce Investment, Employment and Training Administration, Department of Labor, Room S-4209, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20210. Telephone: (202) 693- 3938. Fax: (202) 693-3817.

Web Site Address


Related Programs

17.258, WIA Adult Program


Examples of Funded Projects

The Employment and Training Administration makes grant awards available to 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and Virgin Islands, along with 18 national non-profit organizations.. A variety of organizational arrangements are used to administer the SCSEP projects. Many of the grantees have contractual relationships and agreements with local government and non-profit organizations. In many cases the SCSEP program is operated by the state aging agency and within sub-state areas by area agencies on aging. Some of the national grantee organizations administer the SCSEP local projects directly through their affiliates, while others sub-grant funds to local agencies. Most of the projects operated under the auspices of the SCSEP provide service through host agencies to the community at large or to the elderly community. Some of the activities have included transportation for the elderly, serving the community as librarians, teachers' aides, nutritional aides, etc. The ultimate goal of the program is to place participants into unsubsidized employment and foster economic self-sufficiency.


Criteria for Selecting Proposals

The Department annually renews grant agreements. The Department may have an open competition from time to time to select national grantees. National grants were competed in 2003 and 2006. The next competition opportunity, as specified in the authorizing legislation, will be in 2011. When such a competition occurs, a notice will be published in the Federal Register.


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