By Alexander Soule Updated 2:16 pm, Monday, October 24, 2016

The U.S. Department of Labor awarded The WorkPlace $5.1 million to provide job training and employment services statewide through the Senior Community Service Employment Program, with DOL expected to make additional grants in the coming three years.

SCSEP is intended to foster economic self-sufficiency for low-income people age 55 and older by providing part-time job training at nonprofit and public facilities. To qualify, participants must be currently unemployed and have annual family income no higher than 125 percent of federal poverty income guidelines.

The WorkPlace is based in Bridgeport and is the regional workforce development board covering lower Fairfield County and parts of New Haven County, with its programs including the Platform to Employment program that awards 12-week, on-the-job training stints at companies, with the goal of helping participants who have been out of work for extended periods land full-time jobs.

“Our experience serving the long-term unemployed through the nationally recognized Platform to Employment program has prepared us to provide the most promising workforce strategies to help individuals learn the employment skills needed to obtain good jobs and achieve financial stability,” said Joseph Carbone, CEO of The WorkPlace, in a written statement.

SCSEP services in southwestern Connecticut have been furnished previously by Associates for Training and Development and Education Connection in Bridgeport; and Jewish Family Service of Stamford.