CLEARFIELD – Central Pennsylvania Community Action (CPCA) provides services to families and individuals with low to moderate incomes in Centre and Clearfield counties. During the last year with six outreach office locations, Clearfield, DuBois, Bellefonte, Houtzdale, Philipsburg and Millheim, they provided an array of services to over 19,000 unduplicated individuals.
The mission statements of Central Pennsylvania and Experience Works Senior Community Service Employment Program both focus on the needs of low and moderate income people and both have the common goal of strengthening individuals, families and communities. During a 10-year partnership, they have combined their efforts to make a dynamic difference in the lives of the people and the communities they serve.
“People (who) we work with through the Experience Works program bring with them a great deal of experience and commitment. They have a strong work ethic and are eager to learn new tasks. These workers have been placed in a variety of supportive roles, and some where they have direct client contact,” Suszanne Muirhead, Human Resources Coordinator said.
“In some cases, they are the first impression our clients have of our organization. Because of the outstanding experience we have had with this program, we have been able to hire several workers to a variety of full-time positions in the last few years. This is a win-win situation for all of us.”
CPCA is providing 10 lower income persons who are age 55 or better with the training they need to become employed. The Experience Works Senior Community Service Employment Program pays the trainee’s wages.
Weatherization, congregate meals, the pantries, the thrift store as well as helping in the local offices are some of the opportunities at CPCA that provide job seeking seniors with the opportunity to learn new skills. During the past two years, three of the Experience Works participants were hired by CPCA, while several other were able to find jobs using the skills that they had gained.
Each year, a member of the Experience Works Field Staff nominates a participant, host agency and an employer to be honored as role models of achievement and excellency and named as Experience Works Senior Community Employment Program Champions. Competing at the state level, selections are made to determine the State Champions. This year, CPCA has been selected as the 2011 Experience Works SCSEP Champion Host Agency for the State of Pennsylvania.