May 22, 2023
‘Silver Corps’ Pilot Development Program Will Help Protect Older New Yorkers While Supporting Local Communities Simultaneously
Program to Provide Older Adults with Training for In-Demand Industries
NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Department for the Aging Commissioner Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez today announced the launch of ‘Silver Corps’ — a new workforce development pilot program for older New Yorkers that will increase financial mobility among older adults, combat ageism in the workforce, and fill employment needs in local communities. The program will be funded by AmeriCorps Seniors and will make New York City one of just two municipalities in the nation that has received funding to develop and launch this type of pilot for older adults.
“Silver Corps is providing older New Yorkers the chance to develop new skills, continue their careers, and give back to their communities,” said Mayor Adams. “Our older New Yorkers have already given us so much to be proud of, so it’s time we give them new opportunities. The volunteers for this program are excited about the new ways they are contributing their skills and knowledge to our economy, and how they now more easily live independently, and we cannot wait to sign up new participants.”
“We know the demand is there among older New Yorkers who want to continue contributing to their communities and keep working, but too many times they are prevented because of ageist biases people have. The Silver Corps program will allow us to help even more older residents who need the support to enter the workforce, and we are pleased to launch this program to help them find employment,” said Department for the Aging Commissioner Cortés-Vázquez. “The community service portion of this program is also a key component. Being active as we get older is good for our bodies and minds, and participant of this program will benefit from exercising them both.”
“I commend the Department of Aging on their recent $4.5 million award, empowering older adults to prepare and reintegrate into the community and local economy through volunteerism and paid training and credentialing opportunities. This initiative will enable older adults to leverage their experience, talents, and skills in new high-need industries and sectors” said Lisette Nieves, president, Fund for the City of New York, and Board of Directors member, AmeriCorps. “Integrating older adults into the workforce is crucial for an equitable and inclusive post-pandemic economic recovery. It taps into their wealth of experience and wisdom, fostering intergenerational collaboration that fuels innovation and mentorship. Their contributions drive economic revitalization, boost productivity, and create a profound ripple effect beyond the workplace.”
“Partnering with these new grantees will strengthen AmeriCorps Seniors’ efforts to impact the communities we serve and enhance the lives of our volunteers in a new and tangible way,” said Atalaya Sergi, director, AmeriCorps Seniors. “We are excited to support older adults to use the skills they have and those they will develop to not only serve their community, but also find financial security and new purpose. Upon completion of their service, they will be prepared and supported to re-enter the workforce.”
To become a Silver Corps program participant, New York City residents must be at least 55 years of age, currently unemployed or underemployed, willing to participate in skills training and specialized certification program, and volunteer a minimum of 10 hours per week at a nonprofit or city agency.
There are currently a dozen individuals enrolled as the first Silver Corps cohort. After participating in workshops on job readiness, financial knowledge, and digital literacy, they will perform community service projects at a local organization or at a city agency.
There are three tiers participants are placed in:
During the volunteer portion of the training, a small stipend is provided to participants, and job placement support services are available based on the person’s tier. The cohort recently began their volunteer positions in local organizations across the city, supporting their missions.
“R.A.I.N. is proud to partner with the New York City Department for the Aging Silver Corps Program funded by Americorps to help our older adults transition into an innovative workforce model that ensures their economic needs are being met,” said Dr. Anderson Torres, president and CEO, R.A.I.N. Total Care, Inc. “We believe this opportunity creates social impact and supports and sustains viable communities and legacy building of older adults. The benefits are multiple in achieving a sense of purpose, industry, and engagement, thus promoting overall wellness.”
“Encore salutes the New York City Department of Aging on launching its innovative Silver Corps workforce program. We’ve had members get degrees in their 60s and 70s and successfully re-enter the workforce,” said Jeremy L. Kaplan, executive director, Encore Community Services. “Older adults are New York City’s most valuable resource; they’ve built this city and are eager to bring their wisdom and years of experience to new opportunities!”
“Older adults make great employees. Take the time to train properly and everyone wins, the clients, the older adults, and our economy,” said Harriet Blank, LCSW, director of Geriatric Services, Ohel Children’s Home and Family Services. “Let’s solve this work force crisis together with a human and humane touch.”
“I learned about Silver Corps during a presentation at the Commonpoint Queens Workforce Hub,” said Harriet Lehrer, member, Silver Corps. “The program immediately caught my attention, and I became very intrigued to explore its benefits. So far, I am in awe of all it has to offer.”
“Volunteering made me see life in a different light,” said Tony Lorenzo, member, Silver Corps.
“I am glad that I found this program! I was looking for something to help me stay busy and I was ready for a job change,” said Karen Sturgis, member, Silver Corps.
To learn more about participating in the Silver Corps program, older New Yorkers can call Aging Connect at 212-AGING-NYC (212-244-6469) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.