CSM part­ners with se­nior em­ploy­ment pro­gram as host agency

Col­lege be­comes first to pro­vide part-time job op­por­tu­ni­ties for those 55 and older

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU jan­fen­son-comeau@somd­news.com

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.

“That’s dis­crim­i­na­tion.”

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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STAFF PHOTO BY JASON BAB­COCK

Kyle Rambo, nat­u­ral re­sources man­ager for Patux­ent River Naval Air Sta­tion, holds an East­ern king snake, a non-venomous snake that eats other snakes.

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