Grant will help older adults entering the workforce

Elder Services of Cape Cod and the Islands, based in Dennis, was recently awarded a grant totaling $321,413 from Senior Services America Inc., according to a press release.

Approximately 90 percent of the grant funding is earmarked for providing temporary employment to 44 low-income adults living in Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket counties.

These older adults participate in the Senior Community Service Employment Program, a federal initiative that helps them re-enter the workforce. On Martha’s Vineyard, there are currently three older adults participating in the program. According to the press release, the program allows participants to receive on-the-job training while keeping them connected to their communities.

Laura Roskos, director of the Mature Workers Program at Elder Services on the Cape, said the grant funding allows the Island participants to continue their current minimum-wage job-training placements. Ms. Roskos travels to Martha’s Vineyard to oversee the program here. “Last fall we decided to make an effort to reach out to the Vineyard,” Ms. Roskos said in a phone conversation with The Times. “We ran help-wanted advertisements, put up flyers in the senior centers and libraries, and WMVY was a great help in spreading the word.” Ms. Roskos said she was able to interview prospective participants at the Edgartown library last September.

The older adults must meet income guidelines to qualify, with a current income under 125 percent of the poverty level for a single person, which Ms. Roskos said is approximately $14,700.

“This program provides a way that people can build on that lifetime of experience they have,” Ms. Roskos said. “It’s like a fresh start without starting from scratch.”

Anyone interested in learning more about the Mature Workers Program can call Ms. Roskos at 508-394-4630.