Middle Alabama Area Agency on Aging awarded large grant

FROM STAFF REPORTS

ALABASTER–This year, the Middle Alabama Area Agency on Aging announced that it has received two grants totaling $495,121 from Alabama Department of Senior Services and from Senior Service America, Inc.

Almost 90 percent of this funding—originally from the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL)—will pay wages and benefits to at least 87 low-income older adults living in Blount, Chilton, Shelby, St. Clair, and Walker counties to work in temporary, part-time jobs through June 30, 2015.

These older adults will participate in the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), established by the Older Americans Act more than 40 years ago. Administered by USDOL, SCSEP is the only federal government program mandated to assist unemployed older adults seeking to rejoin the workforce.

For each of the last five years, the Alabama Department of Senior Services and Senior Service America, Inc., have awarded annual grants to Middle Alabama Area Agency on Aging.

“These grants provide valuable on the job training opportunities for older individuals while supporting non-profit and other community service agencies,” said Carolyn Fortner, executive director of Middle Alabama Area Agency on Aging.  “We are grateful for this funding and for the partnership with the Alabama Department of Senior Services and with Senior Services America, Inc.”

While employed as SCSEP participants, the older workers will be assigned to more than 30 local non-profit and government agencies, including the American Red Cross, Bevill State Community College, the Odenville Senior Center, and Chilton Emergency Assistance.  The older workers also will receive on-the-job training to enhance their opportunities in the local job market.

“We appreciate the opportunity to serve as a host agency,” said Kim Mashego, Shelby County Department of Human Resources director.  “We have a unique opportunity to provide on the job training to eligible seniors in our community while seniors have an opportunity to provide an invaluable service to their community.

“Far too many low-income older adults are among the long-term unemployed,” said Tony Sarmiento, Senior Service America executive director. “This program provides them with skills and renewed hope as they serve their community. All older Alabamians are fortunate to be served by the dedicated staff of the Middle Alabama Area Agency on Aging.”

The Middle Alabama Area Agency on Aging was formed and designated in 1989 and serves older individuals and their caregivers in Blount, Chilton, Shelby, St. Clair and Walker counties.  M4A is an Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) with options and benefits counselors who work with consumer of all ages, including older individuals, people with disabilities, and caregivers, learn about and access long-term services and supports.