An organization is seeking unemployed older workers to place in training positions at nonprofits.
Pathstone, a community development and human services agency based in Rochester, N.Y., assigns Lackawanna County residents age 55 and older to 15-hour-a-week jobs at libraries, senior centers, hospitals and other nonprofits.
The agency operates out of CareerLink in Scranton and pays the workers through a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, said Mary Narsavage, a Pathstone employment training specialist. People can participate in the program for up to four years.
"This is basically to help them get more acclimated to working again," Mrs. Narsavage said.
"It's a steppingstone to a job," Pathstone trainer Terry Melvin said.
Even though the region's unemployment is the highest in the state -- 9.6 percent in September -- Pathstone officials say they could place about 20 more people than are currently enrolled in the program.
"We know there are a lot of people 55 and older who are looking for work," Mrs. Narsavage said. "I just think enough people don't know about it."
The length of the assignments vary for part-time community service positions, but some lead to full-time work, Mrs. Narsavage said.
"We have even had host sites hire people," she said. "We want people who want to further themselves and look for full-time employment."
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