For senior citizens in the job market, help is available.
Hannah Lee, training and employment specialist at PathStone in Warren, said the Senior Community Service Employment Program is holding enrollment to July 15. The government-sponsored organization recruits the unemployed who are 55 and over, she said, and has certain income requirements.
For example, those in a single-family home cannot have an income greater than $13,963. A two-person family cannot have an income greater than $18,913 and a three-person family cannot exceed $23,863 though some benefits such as unemployment and disability are exempted.
Jobs for seniors
David Knobloch, left, and Hannah Lee, right, are training and employment specialists at PathStone in Warren.
Program members upgrade their skills by working at training sites, Lee said, where they aid non-profit organizations. In return, she said the workers receive minimum wage.
Workers are limited to performing 20 hours each week, Lee said, and they cannot be in the program longer than four years. There are nine people in the program for the county now, she said. Last year, there were 26.
"Our funding was cut by 40 percent," Lee said. "We're on a low budget right now."
During enrollment, Lee said each county has a goal of adding six new people. While participating, she said, workers have to look for unsubsidized jobs.
In the county, Lee said some of the work sites include Bollinger Enterprises, Jefferson DeFrees Family Center, Experience Inc., Warren County Historical Society, Economic Opportunity Council and Salvation Army. The program tries to place seniors in jobs they have an interest in.
"Sometimes they can be deficient in the computer department," Lee said.
If placed at Pennsylvania Career Link, Lee said they can get exposure to newer technology by assisting people as they use the Internet-based Commonwealth Workforce Development System. Seniors can have advantages in the workplace, she said, as they are often more conscientious about work than other generations.
Besides work, Lee said the program also connects participants with information on how to get other help and saving money. Some of the assistance available may be news to people, she said, such as getting free cellular phones.
For those who are seniors, Lee said age is the number one obstacle to finding work. After turning 50, the chances of landing a job seem to decrease slowly.
Not only does she help others with the program, but Lee is also a participant. Though she can't speak for everyone, she said she likes what she does.
"I'm learning all the time," Lee said. "There's so much to learn."
Those interested in enrolling can contact PathStone at 726-3300.