AARP program trains seniors, finds them part-time jobs at nonprofits
MARBLE FALLS — Senior residents looking for jobs have a new employment resource in their neighborhood.
The AARP Foundation’s Senior Community Service Employment Program seeks to unite qualified workers with area nonprofits with job training and other resources, said Nancy Jackson, an employment specialist with the program. The program covers most Texas counties and is funded by several grants.
To make it easier for people living in the Highland Lakes and the surrounding area, members of the AARP-Austin office are working out of the T.Q. Brown Community Center, 1016 Broadway in Marble Falls. The office will serve residents in Blanco, Burnet, Llano, Mason and McCullough counties.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for people,” Jackson said. “Our goal is to improve the quality of life for people 55 and older. We are like a bridge helping them find permanent employment. That’s why we provide job-training programs.”
Eligible residents must:
• be 55 and older;
• and have a single income not to exceed more than $14,713 annually or a combined income of $19,913 for couples.
According to program rules, potential employees are trained for part-time work at nonprofits and 501(c)3 tax-exempt businesses.
Jackson said the reason for the program is that living expenses keep rising, but monthly Social Security benefit checks have not been adjusted.
“These people retired and found they can’t make ends meet,” Jackson said. “The cost of living goes up.”
So people are looking to supplement their income. That’s where the Senior Community Service Employment Program comes in, Jackson said.
“We help them get into a situation where they can improve their skills or learn a new skill,” she said.
That includes providing online computer classes and teaching job-specific proficiencies based on what nonprofits need, she said.
For example, the program has placed several part-time workers in libraries in Burnet, Llano and Johnson City.
“They catalogue, do data entry, help plan events,” Jackson said. “They learn about the library system. It also helps the library with desperately needed workers. It’s a win-win for both sides.”
Though workers are limited to 18 hours per work at $7.25 per hour, which is minimum wage based on federal requirements, Jackson said the program is doing what it’s supposed to do.
“We’re helping them improve their quality of life,” she said. “These people want to contribute; these people still want to be challenged.”
Call Jackson at (830) 693-0700 for more information.
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