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Senior Community Service Employment Program: Labor Has Made Progress Implementing Older Americans Act Amendments of 2000, but Challenges Remain

GAO-06-549T Published: Apr 06, 2006. Publicly Released: Apr 06, 2006.
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The aging of the baby boom generation and increased life expectancy pose serious challenges for our nation. Older adults often must re-enter the workforce in order to remain self-sufficient. The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) is the only federal program that is specifically designed to assist low-income older adults by providing part-time community service jobs and training to prepare for employment. Since passage of the 2000 Older Americans Act Amendments (OAA), SCSEP has also increasingly focused on promoting economic self-sufficiency through placement in unsubsidized employment. In 2005, Congress appropriated about $439 million to serve about 100,000 older workers. Administered by the Department of Labor (Labor), SCSEP is implemented through 69 grantees, including 13 national organizations and 56 state and territorial agencies. The Chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging asked GAO to (1) determine what effect the OAA Amendments have had on the distribution of SCSEP funds to national and state grantees, (2) describe the progress Labor has made in implementing the enhanced performance accountability system, and (3) identify the challenges faced by national and state grantees in managing the SCSEP program.

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Baby boomersElderly personsEligibility criteriaEmployment assistance programsstate relationsOlder workersPerformance appraisalPerformance managementPerformance measuresProgram managementState-administered programsGrant administration