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News Maryland Baltimore City

Program to offer job training to those 55 and older

A program that offers job training to Baltimoreans 55 and older is expanding.

The Senior Community Service Employment Program offers paid training slots at government agencies and nonprofits to eligible city residents. City and state officials are expected to discuss an expansion of the program at a news conference Monday.

Participants are paid minimum wage for 20 hours a week. The city has room for about 30 more individuals, although additional slots may become available, officials said.

"No senior should be forced to live in poverty because of limited employment opportunities," City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young said in a statement. "I'm happy to support a program that works to utilize the knowledge and skills of our older adults."

The employment program is part of the Older Americans Act. Individuals are placed in positions that match their desired career goals, according to Young's office. Previous work experience is not required.

Employment can last up to two years. The program also is offered in Allegany, Calvert, Caroline, Charles, Garrett, Kent, Queen Anne's, St. Mary's, Talbot and Washington counties.

The Great Recession hit older Americans especially hard, said AARP Maryland state director Henry M. "Hank" Greenberg. "Americans 50-plus now have the largest overall increase in long-term unemployment, the longest spells of joblessness and the least likelihood of finding jobs," he said.

For more information, call the Maryland Department of Aging at 410-767-1100

ywenger@baltsun.com

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