Now that changes have been made to the 2011 federal budget it is thought that the Senior Community Service Employment Program will have 46 percent less funding than in previous years.
Unfortunately, such a large cut may have a serious impact on any seniors making use of the program in order to develop their skills-set. In fact, the cut may even stunt their development.
The US Department of Labor started this program in 1965; to provide part-time, subsidized training for those senior citizens who fell into the lower income group. Now, the scope of the program may have to be scaled back.
Diane Chambers, the Missouri State Director of Experience Works, explained that practical skills gained through this program can help seniors to become an invaluable part of today’s workforce; so any cuts could be disastrous.
She added, “They would be learning to do data entry. They would be learning how to answer their phone on a new up-to-date phone system. They would be learning all the things that they would need to go into any office and be able to compete. So they are able to update their skills that way.”
Chamber stressed that this program is very different from other government aided programs as it allows its participants to become an invaluable part of the economy. Those involved in the program are trained to be skilled, stay active, and also to be employable rather than dependent on public assistance.
As a result, those in charge of the program are fearful that the proposed cuts may seriously affect how the program is run and the extent to which it can help seniors return to work.
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