| Photo by Sweet Life on Unsplash
NEW YORK – To increase financial mobility among older adults, combat ageism in the workforce, and fill employment needs in local communities, the Adams administration has launched “Silver Corps.”
AmeriCorps Seniors will fund the pilot program and make New York City one of just two nationwide municipalities that have received funding to develop and launch this 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 Eric 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.”
Cortés-Vázquez, the Department for the Aging commissioner, said demand exists for older New Yorkers who want to continue contributing to their communities and keep working. However, she said, they are prevented because of ageist biases people have.
“The Silver Program will allow us to help even more older residents who need the support to enter the workplace,” Cortés-Vázquez said. “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 participants of this program will benefit from exercising them both.”
“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,” said Lisette Nieves, president, Fund for the City of New York and Board of Directors member AmeriCorps. “Their contributions drive economic revitalization, boost productivity, and create a profound ripple effect beyond the workplace.”
To become a Silver Corps program participant, New York City residents must be at least 55, currently unemployed or underemployed, willing to participate in skills training and specialized certification program and volunteer at least 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 a city agency.
There are three tiers participants are placed in:
Tier 1: Explorer – rapid attachment to employment that may not require a credential or training.
Tier 2: Navigator – up to one year of credential attainment or occupation skills training is required.
Tier 3: Voyager – more than one year of credential attainment or occupation skills training is required.
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 volunteering in local organizations city-wide, supporting their missions.
Older New Yorkers can call Aging Connect at 212-AGING-NYC (212-244-6469) or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about participating in the Silver Corps program.
–With Jay Domingo/PDM