Congress: Remember Your Moms as You Consider Funding for Older Workers

Mom or Grandmother standing with open armsIn May, we celebrate our moms and the women who have nurtured us as moms do over the course of our lives. On Mother’s Day, as I considered the contributions and sacrifices of these women in my life, I also took time to reflect on the challenges they may face as they officially close ranks on senior citizenship.

In my work, I often come across the stories of older workers who face discrimination in the workplace. I hear about the serious health risks to those who have been long-term unemployed, thus deferred seeking medical care.

I have heard firsthand the story of an older worker who had to default on mortgage payments and became homeless. Others in this situation accumulate debt and drain their savings.

Since May is also Older Americans Month, it is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate how we value the moms, grandmothers and other older adults in our community and in our workforce.

Recently, the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging highlighted the struggles of long-term unemployed older workers in a recent hearing. Goodwill® applauds the effort to give attention to this crisis, and urges Congress to preserve and strengthen programs that address it.

Congress should pass a budget that considers the needs of seniors and the millions of other Americans still looking for work.

This includes reauthorizing and strengthening the Older Americans Act, which funds the delivery of social services to seniors, including the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), the only federal program designed to prepare older workers for the modern labor market.

SCSEP is a training and employment program for older adults funded through the U.S. Department of Labor. Program participants receive paid training, gain valuable skills and experience, and build self-confidence by training at important community-based locations such as libraries, schools, housing agencies and food banks.

I encourage you to step up and learn more about these issues that will be impacting our moms, grandmothers, and even ourselves before we know it. Find out about Goodwill solutions for older workers in communities across the United States, and learn how you can find help for an older person who has made a difference in your life. Read more.