Winston-Salem Urban League receives $1,778,090 grant to employ older adults

Winston-Salem Urban League receives $1,778,090 grant to employ older adults
August 13
00:00 2015

In above photo: Winston-Salem Urban League building (File photo)

Special to The Chronicle

The Winston-Salem Urban League has been awarded a grant of $1,778,090 from Senior Service America Inc.

Almost 90 percent of this grant – originally from the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) – will pay wages and benefits to at least 345 low-income older adults.

These older adults will participate in the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) a major program of the Older Americans Act, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

Administered by USDOL, SCSEP is the only federal government program mandated to assist unemployed older adults seeking to rejoin the workforce.

The adults live in Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Clevelor, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Gaston, Lincoln, Stokes, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yadkin counties.

“We are very pleased to continue our support of the Winston-Salem Urban League for the ninth consecutive year,” said Tony Sarmiento, Senior Service America executive director.

The Winston-Salem Urban League has received this annual SCSEP grant since 2006.

While employed as SCSEP participants, the older workers are assigned to more than 120 local community, faith-based, and public agencies, including the Delta Arts Center, Jonesville Public Library, Hickory Museum of Burke County Habitat for Humanity, Southside Health Center, National Association of Black Veterans, Goodwill Industries of Northwest NC, HARRY Veteran’s Outreach and The Salvation Army.

The older workers receive on-the-job training to enhance their opportunities in the local job market.

Southside United Health Center is one of the nonprofits that the Urban League partners with to provide the staff support of a SCSEP participant.

Tonya McDaniel, executive administrator of Southside United Health Center, said “our mission is to improve health outcomes and overall wellness for our community. It would be an understatement to say, the opportunity to partner with the Urban League has been a great benefit to our organization. Having SCSEP participants assist in our office is vital to our Federally Qualified Health Care Center’s success. With the support of the Urban League Senior Community Services Employment Program we are able to provide high quality, affordable, culturally competent comprehensive health care services.”

“Many low-income older adults want and need paid work,” says Tony Sarmiento, Senior Service America executive director. “By serving their community, older workers receive renewed skills as well as renewed hope. Older North Carolinians are fortunate to be given the opportunity through SCSEP and the dedicated staff of the Winston-Salem Urban League.”

“The Winston-Salem Urban League is pleased to receive funding to continue administering the Senior Community Service Employment Program which provides job readiness, skills training and job placement for mature adults,” says Patricia Sadler, Urban League SCSEP director. “We will serve 345 low income seniors again this year and the need for the program is evidenced by the seniors on the waiting list for the program. Employers are pleased with staff they hire through the program because they are well prepared, dependable, experienced and qualified for the job. The success of the program is proven by the number of seniors who obtain unsubsidized employment and become financially stable.”

About Senior Service America, Inc. Senior Service America, Inc. (SSAI) is a national nonprofit organization that provides civic engagement and employment opportunities to low-income older adults.

As one of 15 national SCSEP grantees of the U.S. Department of Labor, SSAI is based in Silver Spring, Maryland, and provides more than $40 million annually to a diverse network of 80 local partner organizations in 16 states.

For more information, go to, call (301) 578-8826, email, or Twitter @tsarmiento22.

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