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Caritas Family Solutions receives $700,000 DOL grant for Senior Community Service Employment

Caritas Family Solutions is proud to announce it has received a more than $700,000 Department of Labor workforce inclusion grant from the Center for Workforce Inclusion, Inc. (Center). This grant will help support Caritas Family Solutions Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) which provides lower-income adults 55 and older the opportunity to rejoin the workforce.

Since 1974, Caritas SCSEP has provided employment opportunities for more than 1200 participants. The grant will help assist with on-the-job training for low-income older Illinoisans living in more than 10 different counties.

“SCSEP has grown tremendously throughout the years and is a testament to our overall mission at Caritas of strengthening the well-being of individuals and families,” said Gary Huelsmann, Caritas Family Solutions CEO. “Our seniors do great work to impact and improve the communities they live in. We’ve seen this program transform the lives of our participants and give them a renewed sense of purpose.”

Going on its 56th year, SCSEP is a part of the Older Americans Act and the only federal job training program targeted exclusively to low-income, older jobseekers. Participants in SCSEP become skilled, reskilled and/or upskilled to meet the local employment needs in their community.

“This grant will help our SCSEP job seekers pursue their employment goals and assist local businesses who need workers,” said SCSEP Program Manager Gary Woods. “Our SCSEP participants come prepared with experience, flexibility, and a mature understanding of what it takes to be successful in a work environment.  With nearly eighty participants in the communities we serve; we have a variety of education and work experiences to offer. They come ready and willing to work.”

The grant was issued by the national non-profit, The Center for Workforce Inclusion. President and CEO, Gary A. Officer said, “Older adults will soon be the largest single segment of the American workforce. It is an economic necessity that we ensure our older jobseekers are equipped with the tools required to be successful in the workforce. Therefore, I am very pleased to continue our support of Caritas Family Solutions for the 48th consecutive year.”

For sixty years, the Center has worked with older, low-income job seekers overlooked by traditional workforce programs. Both directly and through a nationwide network of local partners, the Center empowers older job seekers to attain in-demand skills, overcome barriers to employment, and secure employment. Workforce inclusion grants, including those grants supporting the operation of SCSEP, are a critical element of the Center’s mission.

About Caritas Family Solutions’ SCSEP:

Caritas Family Solutions SCSEP is operated under a USDOL grant and in cooperation with The Center for Workforce Inclusion, Inc. SCSEP is funded by a $45.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. This funding provides 90% of the support for SCSEP with The Center providing 10% match or $5 million. SCSEP is an equal-opportunity program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

About Caritas Family Solutions:

Founded in 1947, Caritas Family Solutions is a nonprofit social service agency whose mission is to strengthen the social and emotional well-being of individuals and families in order to create healthy relationships, loving homes, and strong communities. Services include adoption, pregnancy care for women who are homeless, foster care, counseling, residential treatment for children healing from abuse and/or neglect, independent living for adults with developmental disabilities (CILA), and assisted living and employment assistance for low-income seniors. Caritas serves more than 6,000 individuals annually across Southern Illinois from offices located in Belleville, Carterville, Mount Vernon, Olney, Glen Carbon, Alton, and Effingham as well as satellite locations in Highland and Sparta. For additional information, visit www.caritasfamilysolutions.org.

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