L-R - Bill Gates, Della Deskins and Mary Tedrow, NCOA trainees
The Marshall County Historical Society has become a host agency for the Senior Community Service Employment Program that is a federally funded employment training and placement program for unemployed low income eligible individuals. The SCSEP is an equal Opportunity Program and is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, overseen by the National Council on Aging and administrated by NCOA subprojects throughout the United States.
In July, 2008, one NCOA individual began training at the smaller Cockayne house. Supervised by one of the committee’s volunteers, this individual continued the massive curation process begun in 2006 by volunteers by training and documenting the vast collection of books within the farmhouse. What began as work with paper and pencil on a couple of tables and chairs soon grew into a space for three NCOA trainees. Desks, computers, chairs, Microsoft Office software, filing cabinets, brochure stands, three ring binders, and more have all been donated to accommodate the ongoing process of preserving the farmhouse, its artifacts and the document collection, and organizing the Cockayne family and farm history.
Today, three NCOA trainees spend 20 hours a week training and performing such tasks as organizing the massive collection of curation documents and entering this information into a data base, preparing binders of pictures and articles for public relations purposes, interviewing and collecting information about the Cockayne family, performing research on the family and farm history, and assisting with grant and fund-raising searches. The training site provides training in job skills and assists in developing interpersonal and job retention skills. This win-win situation has greatly enhanced the Cockayne preservation effort.
The National Council on Aging has been working with the Department of Labor and community agencies for thirty years to help older adults find jobs, increase their income and learn new skills. To serve its constituents and their local communities, the SCSEP emphasizes its three primary goals as 1) providing gainful employment through subsidized part time work; 2) demonstrating how older workers can facilitate the delivery of community services by placing them in human service positions; and 3) transitioning low income older adults into high quality jobs in public and private sectors through training. For more information about the program, contact the Bi State Resource Center at 1-866-575-4410.