CSM partners with senior employment program as host agency
College becomes first to provide part-time job opportunities for those 55 and older
The College of Southern Maryland is taking part in a program to help senior citizens return to the workforce.
Arthur Goff, senior service liaison for Charles, Calvert and St. Mary’s counties for the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, said CSM is the first Maryland college to serve as a host agency for the Senior Community Service Employment Program.
“In all 11 [jurisdictions], we’re the first to get a college signed on as a host agency,” Goff said. “It’s a pleasure that in these three counties, we’ve got four [campuses] where we can send seniors.”
SCSEP is a DLLR program, authorized under Title V of the Older Americans Act and funded by the U.S. Department of Labor through its grant with the Maryland Department of Aging, and operates in 10 counties and the city of Baltimore, according to the DLLR website.
The program places low-income, unemployed job seekers ages 55 and older with host agencies, nonprofit organizations, government or private sector employers for up to 20 hours per week.
Goff said seniors often face age discrimination when attempting to enter the workforce, particularly if they’ve taken a hiatus.
“They’ll say, ‘This application looks great, but we’re looking for somebody younger,’” Goff said.
Goff said the process of inviting CSM to become a host agency came about last year, when he approached CSM President Brad Gottfried at a Rotar y Club meeting.
“He didn’t have to talk too long for me to realize the importance of this program,” Gottfried said. “The college is all about jobs, and any way we can help people get back to work, that’s what
we’re about. It really fits our mission.”
Gottfried said the opportunity to ser ve as a host agency for the program was a “winwin” for the college.
“These individuals are subsidized as part of the program, they’re screened as part of the program,” Gottfried said. “These participants are going to win, the college is going to win by having a person who has potential to get the experience they need to get back into the workforce.”
Doreen Bickel, interim associate vice president of human resources, said the
college’s participation completely unselfish.
“Not every staffing need we have can be met. There are fiscal constraints, and we have pipe dreams about what we’d like to do, and work that needs to be done, and so ver y quickly, I thought, ‘We could use some help, so let’s tr y it,’” Bickel said.
Goff said the final details were worked out earlier this month and candidates to work at the college are being lined up and will be scheduled for interviews in the near future.
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