SHERIDAN — Older job seekers in Sheridan County can find out if they qualify for a program that provides a chance to earn a paycheck while gaining valuable jobs skills as a stepping stone to employment.

The nonprofit organization Experience Works will be accepting applications for the Senior Community Service Employment Program Oct. 22-23 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Department of Workforce Services, 247 Grinnell Plaza Ste. 200. The program is geared for people ages 55 and older who are unemployed with limited income and limited job prospects. It’s free and available to those who qualify.

Participants spend an average of 20 hours each week in paid community service assignments at public and nonprofit organizations, earning minimum wage. Examples include performing clerical and administrative duties at nonprofits, sorting donations at food banks, preparing meals and recreation at senior centers, or assisting in classrooms and libraries. They also have access to a variety of training and supportive services such as developing a resume, improving interview skills, and identifying job opportunities.

Wages are paid through the SCSEP. As participants build confidence and learn new skills, the public and nonprofit organizations, known as host agencies, benefit from an expanded workforce at no cost to them.

The program goal is to help participants transition into unsubsidized employment. There are many instances when SCSEP participants are hired by the organizations where they are training. If that’s not possible, Experience Works offers job-search support to assist them in securing unsubsidized employment.

Walk-ins are welcome or to schedule an appointment contact Experience Works at 888-278-9109. The SCSEP is funded through the U.S. Department of Labor and administered by Experience Works in nine states including 20 Wyoming counties.