Older Americans Month 2024: Powered by Connection

by Mitch Coppes, Federal Government Affairs Manager, Goodwill Industries International

For more than 60 years, Older Americans Month (OAM) has been observed each May to celebrate the many contributions that older adults make in their communities, families and in the workforce. Led by the Administration for Community Living at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the theme for OAM 2024 is Powered by Connection, which recognizes the profound impact that meaningful relationships and connectedness have on the health, well-being, and independence of older individuals.

In a proclamation marking OAM 2024, President Biden stressed the importance of empowering older Americans to thrive through public policies. “Older Americans have worked their whole lives to achieve the American Dream for their families and communities, making our Nation stronger and building a future of possibilities for new generations,” said Biden. “This month, we celebrate their immense contributions to our country and stand firm in our efforts to ensure that every American can age with the dignity and financial security that they deserve.”

Goodwill® is dedicated to providing holistic employment and supportive services to older workers. With support from the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), Goodwill helps low-income older individuals connect to community service employment opportunities. SCSEP participants must be unemployed, 55 years of age or older, have incomes no more than 125 percent of the federal poverty level and have a training need. Goodwill Industries International has been a national SCSEP grant recipient since 2006, and SCSEP funding supports 17 local Goodwill subgrantees that collectively serve approximately 2,800 older adults annually. Goodwill SCSEP helps to empower older Americans to live independent lives, develop new skills and talents, build work experience and achieve financial security and well-being.

As part of our 2024 Goodwill on the Hill and Virtual Advocacy Day event, Goodwill advocates from across the country urged their lawmakers to invest in federal job training and workforce development programs, which includes increasing funding for SCSEP to help grow the capacity of community-based organizations that provide training and employment opportunities for older workers.

Older Americans serve a vital role in our workforce, contributing a wealth of knowledge, commitment, and insights gained through years of work and life experiences. Learn more about the ways that local Goodwills can get involved in OAM 2024 here.