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​The Dallas City Council approved a grant proposal with Mountain View College and DCCCD via an existing interlocal agreement between the two on Oct. 8.

Through the agreement, Mountain View College Workforce/CE will train 50 senior adults — age 60 and above — through the Senior Service Employment Initiative grant funds, serving the entire city of Dallas. The proposed group will be trained on a cohort basis, with 12 to 13 senior adults per cohort. Training will prepare seniors for employment as help desk and customer service representatives and close with a hiring fair.

The initiative is tied to Mountain View College’s WorkReadyU program and financially supplemented via the Local Workforce Board’s AEL career pathway funding. The award includes funding support for a contracted coordinator and a job readiness/prep consultant; selected minority-owned businesses Rischer Consulting and CartGroup Consultants International LLC will round out the team. Workforce/CE staff will support the program via course building, training room assignment, budget management, etc., with existing personnel.

Mountain View College will manage all funds. The estimated cost of the program is approximately $2,746 per senior, covering 112 training hours, case management and job placement. The total grant award is $137,280.

“This opportunity helps to round out the goal of our DCCCD network in serving all students at any phase of their lives who strive toward an improved quality of life as well as economic health for our city,” said Patricia Webb, executive dean, Workforce/CE, at Mountain View College.

“Senior Force,” the proposed Senior Service Employment Initiative, is open to all citizens who reside in the city of Dallas and meet the income requirements of the grant. Marketing of the program will take place on several levels, including grassroots outreach to community seniors and organizations that serve seniors. For those who are interested in the program, but do not qualify for grant funds, additional resources are available to them for job referral, GED and ESL services through existing WorkReadyU grant funds.

Excerpts from the proposal Mountain View brought before the city of Dallas noted that “many senior adults are finding the need to work beyond the traditional age of retirement,” but that “the gap in wages and skill sets are increasing.”

According to the National Institute on Retirement Security, almost 40 million households have no retirement savings at all. The Employee Benefit Research Institute estimates that Americans have a retirement savings deficit at $4.3 trillion. That means all U.S. households with a head of household between the ages of 25 and 64 have $4.3 trillion fewer in savings than they should have for retirement.

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