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The U.S. Department of Labor announced $1.35 million will go to the Human Service’s Senior Community Service Employment Program, which provides training and job support for low-income seniors age 55 and older who are unemployed. The funding is the annual renewal of a continuing program administered by Human Services but is slightly higher this year.

If the senior is matched to a job in the private sector, the program pays the senior’s wages for eight weeks, with the understanding that, at the end of that time, the participant will be hired. Seniors placed with nonprofits and government agencies can participate for up to 24 months, with the understanding that if a position opens while they are in the program, the employer will consider hiring them.

The program has had active participants in the territory ranging in age from 55 to people in their 90s. Currently, the oldest participants are in their 80s. The local grant was part of nearly $597 million in funding for the program that the Labor Department announced Wednesday. The money went to all the states and territories, as well as to 18 national nonprofits.

For more information on the Senior Community Service Employment Program, contact Human Services at 340-773-2323 on St. Croix.