Quantitative study of the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) that analyzed existing administrative data and customer satisfaction survey data for PY 2009 and 2010, and (2) a process study based on interviews with national SCSEP grantees and case-study site visits to 29 local projects during PY 2011.

"To learn about local-project performance, program outcomes, and the views of program participants [this report] analyzeds two sets of quantitative data: (1) individual-level data from the SCSEP Performance and Results Quarterly Progress Report (SPARQ) system for Program Years 2009 and 2010, and (2) a customer-satisfaction survey administered by ETA during Program Year 2010 for a sample of program participants who were active in the SCSEP program at some point during Program Year 2009. To examine program implementation, [researchers] conducted in-person and telephone interviews with 17 national grantees and 4 state grantees during the fall of 2011 and then made case study site visits to 29 local programs between November of 2011 and February of 2012 (24 sub-recipients of national grants and 5 sub-recipients of state grants). Finally, to learn more about participants’ views of the program, [researchers] conducted informal interviews and focus-group sessions with participants at all 29 case-study sites" (ES-3). (Abstractor: Author)

 Full Publication Title: Evaluation of the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP): Process and Outcomes Study Final Report

Major Findings & Recommendations

"Program Structure and Operations • The recent recession and reductions in program funding pose a challenge to SCSEP project operations. • Most SCSEP projects rely heavily on participant staff members. • There is room for improvement in local projects’ level of coordination with the workforce investment system. • Local projects enjoy strong and mutually beneficial relationships with host agencies.Services • Most projects offer very limited training outside of host agency placements. • Local projects emphasize job training rather than supportive services. • Local projects vary in the intensity and structure of the job search assistance they offer.Managing Performance • ETA regulations have greatly increased the emphasis on helping SCSEP participants move from their community-service positions to unsubsidized employment. At the same time, the program continues to emphasize serving the “most-in-need” among the older worker population. Because these two priorities are perceived to be in tension with each other— those “most in need” are by definition those who have the most difficulty finding unsubsidized employment—grantees and local project managers continue to express frustration about how to carry out both mandates simultaneously. Outcomes • Overall, forty-six percent of SCSEP exiters available for employment entered unsubsidized employment. • Participants were less likely to enter unsubsidized employment if they lived in counties with high unemployment rates. • The likelihood of entering unsubsidized employment declined with age." (ES 4-10) (Abstractor: Author, Website Staff)