June 28, 2016

Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106

WASHINGTON (June 28, 2016) – A long-time advocate for programs that create opportunities for rural Americans, National Farmers Union (NFU) applauded the recent decision by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to re-open a grant competition that would fund job training and service opportunities for aging American workers. The $338 million national grant competition, a part of the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), will be extended for 30 days to ensure adequate coverage of necessary geographic areas, such as rural communities.

Through the grant competition, the agency hopes to fund between 10-22 grants that will serve more than 53,000 older Americans per year.

“As the farming community continues to age, it’s important that we provide opportunities for senior citizens to maintain their independence through meaningful contributions to their communities. I’m pleased that the Department of Labor extended the SCSEP grant competition to enable participation from older rural Americans who benefit from job training and service programs,” said NFU President Roger Johnson.

The SCSEP, a community service and work-based job training program, was modeled after the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 jobs initiative Green Thumb (now Experience Works). Green Thumb was founded by former President Lyndon B. Johnson, together with his wife, First Lady Lady Bird Johnson, and former NFU President Jim Patton.

NFU continues to play an active role in the governance of Experience Works, with five members serving on the Board of Directors.

“We are proud to continue to follow the visionary path paved by our organization’s leadership and engage with Experience Works for the betterment of senior citizens and the rural communities they serve,” Johnson concluded.

More information about Experience Works and SCSEP is available here.

National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.


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