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Blue Ridge Community Action Inc. Receives $453,808 Grant to Help Employ Jobseekers 55+

Blue Ridge Community Action, Inc. RECEIVES $453,808 Grant Center for Workforce Inclusion awards workforce inclusion grant for older jobseekers 55+

Morganton October 4, 2022

Blue Ridge Community Action, Inc. announced today that it was awarded a $453,808 workforce inclusion grant from the Center for Workforce Inclusion, Inc. (Center). Almost 90 percent of this grant – originally from the U.S. Department of Labor – will provide on-the-job training to no less than 76 low-income older North Carolinians living in Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cleveland, McDowell, and Rutherford Counties. This workforce inclusion grant will support Blue Ridge Community Action, Inc. operate its Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP).

Four women stand in front of a piece of industrial farm equipment. The photo shows a SCSEP client of Blue Ridge Community Action, Two BRCA Employees, and another SCSEP Employee.
Blue Ridge Community Action Employees Lisa L. and Jessica S. (center) with two BRCA SCSEP Employees (ends).

For sixty years, the Center has worked with older, low-income job seekers overlooked by traditional workforce programs. Both directly and through a nation-wide network of local partners, the Center empowers older job seekers to attain in-demand skills, overcome barriers to employment, and secure employment. Workforce inclusion grants, including those grants supporting the operation of SCSEP, are a critical element of the Center’s mission. In its 56th year, SCSEP is a cornerstone program of the Older Americans Act and the only federal job training program targeted exclusively to low-income, older jobseekers. Job seekers who participate in SCSEP become skilled, reskilled and/or upskilled to meet the local employment needs in their community.

“Older adults will soon be the largest single segment of the American workforce.” said Gary A. Officer, Center for Workforce Inclusion President and CEO. “It is an economic necessity that we ensure our older jobseekers are equipped with the tools required to be successful in the workforce. Therefore, I am very pleased to continue our support of the Blue Ridge Community Action, Inc. for the 6th consecutive year.” Jobseekers participating in SCSEP were able to keep training from home. And now, the majority of SCSEP jobseekers are back at their training sites where they help local community, faith-based, and public agencies carry out their mission, such as the Catawba County Nutrition Services, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont, Hospice 7 Palliative Care of Burke County, and Habitat for Humanity Restore.

By working in SCSEP positions, SCSEP is providing hope and dignity to low-income jobseekers 55 and older who have the toughest employment challenges. The grant from the Center is essential to our being able to deliver this program in our local community.


About Blue Ridge Community Action, Inc.

Blue Ridge Community Action, Inc. (BRCA) is a private, non-profit organization founded in 1965 to address problems related to poverty in Burke, Caldwell and Rutherford counties. The BRCA mission statement "Helping People. Changing Lives." embodies the spirit of hope, improves communities, and makes our counties better places to live. We care about the entire community, and are dedicated to helping people help themselves and each other. BRCA strives to obtain and maintain agency self-sufficiency, as well as assist employees and low-income residents to obtain and maintain self-sufficiency. Our mission is realized by providing services, advocacy and support for persons so they can become economically self-sufficient, improve the quality of their lives, and better provide opportunities for their families.

Learn more about Blue Ridge Community Action at or by following us on Facebook


About the Center for Workforce Inclusion

The Center for Workforce Inclusion is the only national nonprofit dedicated exclusively to employment for older workers in both the public and private sectors. Since 1962, the Center has provided workforce development and support services to nearly half-a-million older workers. Our mission is to deliver workforce readiness programs that empower local jobseekers, attract employers, and transform communities. The Center provides employment opportunities low-income and other older adults aged 50 and older in 34 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. For 56 years, the Center has operated the Senior Community Service Employment Program and currently partners with a diverse network of local organizations in 12 states. For more information, please visit

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