W-S Urban League celebrates seniors from 18 counties

W-S Urban League celebrates seniors from 18 counties
June 04
00:00 2015

In photo above: CSEP Director Patricia Sadler welcomes the 200 seniors who are participants in the program designed to provide job training for citizens over the age of 55. (Photo by Tevin Stinson)

Organization recognizes Older Americans Month

By Tevin Stinson
The Chronicle

May marked the 50th anniversary of Older Americans Month. To celebrate the event, the Winston-Salem Urban league held a ceremony on Friday, May 29, to honor the participants of the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP).

The program operates in 18 counties across Northwest North Carolina and provides low-income residents over the age of 55 with job training. After training is compete, the program helps the seniors find jobs related to their training.

SCSEP Director Patricia Sadler has been with the Winston-Salem Urban League for over 10 years and believes the program is a great way for seniors to get training, and is grateful for the employers who have worked with the program.

“Without our employers, we wouldn’t be nearly as successful,” Sadler said. ”SMO Supreme and D&K Fresh Start hires a lot of our seniors, and we are very grateful for everything they do for us.”

During the celebration, human resource managers from D&K Fresh Start and SMO Supreme received the Premier Employer Award for their dedication to giving seniors an opportunity to gain employment.

Laura Garduno of SMO Supreme said she wouldn’t know what to do without her seniors. She said they are a joy to work with and looks forward to working with the program in the future.

“Our senior employees are amazing,” Garduno said. “I don’t know what we would do without them. We are grateful for everything this program does to help us.”

Through a partnership with Forsyth Technical Community College, seniors can also take computer lessons to improve their chances of obtaining jobs.

The SCSEP also honored a number of college graduates during the ceremony. Carolyn Higgs and Robert Williams of Forsyth County are participants in the program, and both recently received their associate’s degrees.

Higgs graduated from Forsyth Tech with a degree in Human Services Gerontology, while Williams attended ITT Tech, where he majored in Network Systems Administration.

Williams, an Army veteran, said next year he plans to move to California, where he will continue to study to become a computer engineer. Although he just graduated, Robert has been offered a number of positions in his field.

“I’ve had a number of job offers since I graduated, but I’m just waiting for the right one,” Williams said. “I’ve been all around the country but I like California the most. That’s why I want to move there.”

A number of other employers from Forsyth County were recognized during the celebration including, Winston-Lake Family YMCA, Mast General Store, Pepsico and RGA Behavioral Health.

Sadler believes the celebration should continue for the entire year.

“We should be celebrating the entire year,” Sadler said, “We truly have some amazing people within this program that should be proud of all they do.”

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