PCUL announces expansion into six new counties

USJP Team: Front Row: President & CEO Watson Haynes, Linda Ali, Sondra Jackson, Stacey Flowers
Back Row: Larry Finkle, Vonda Ford, Charlotte Anderson, Eddie Sencer, Marshae Scott and Pattye Sawyer-Hampton


ST. PETERSBURG — Through a grant from the Department of Labor, the National Urban League (NUL) was one of 19 national non-profit organizations to receive funding to provide critical job training and employment services through the Senior Community Service Employment Program.

In turn, the NUL has re-branded the program, naming it the Urban Seniors Jobs Program (USJP) and awarded funds to seven of its affiliates: The Pinellas County Urban League, Urban League of Palm Beach County, Louisville Urban League, Urban League of Detroit and Southeastern Michigan, Urban League of Essex County in New Jersey, Urban League of Westchester County in New York and Urban League of Pittsburgh.

The Pinellas County Urban League (PCUL) has received $1.4 million for a five-month period that began Feb. 1 to serve seniors in six new counties, and total funding to the PCUL for the program through the Year 2020 is estimated to be $7 million.

The PCUL, which historically has served Pinellas County exclusively, has now expanded into Hernando, Lake, Marion, Pasco, Seminole and Sumter counties. They welcome new staff members Larry Finkle (field manager covering Pasco County), Senior Employment Training Specialists Sondra Jackson (covering Lake, Seminole and Sumter Counties) and Eddie Sencer (covering Hernando and Marion Counties).

They will join an existing PCUL team consisting of Pattye Sawyer-Hampton (project director), Stacey Flowers (case manager) and Marshae Scott (office administrator/data specialist).

The USJP fosters economic self-sufficiency for older, low-income adults by providing tangible job skills training through community service assignments at non-profit and public facilities.

Participants are unemployed, low-income individuals ages 55 years and older with poor employment prospects that will gain access to needed services.

These services include orientations, community service assignments, occupational, work skills and aptitude assessments, skills training, free physical examinations, an assessment of needs-based supportive services and job search assistance. Participants can also receive employment assistance through the American Job Center.

The PCUL will partner with CareerSource locations throughout the six-county region to identify and place participants with host agencies that assist them in the development of an Individual Employment Plan (IEP), provide them with useful training opportunities that improve their job skills and increase their ability to secure permanent employment both internally and externally in the local community. All Host Agencies must be either public agencies or private Section 501(c)3 non-profit organizations tax exempt by the IRS.

The objectives of the USJP are to:

• Provide services that aid participants in removing obstacles to employment

• Help participants develop skills that are in demand in the local community

• Help participants find jobs with living wages and benefits that will improve their quality of life

• Help participants find permanent employment within a maximum of 48 months, as required by DOL

• Facilitate participant involvement in their local community

• Help local community agencies continue to provide needed services

• Provide services that help participants to be better than when they came into the program

PCUL President & CEO Watson Haynes is excited about this new opportunity.

“Through programs like the USJP, the PCUL will be able to continue to fulfill our mission of Economic Empowerment, as we equip mature individuals in becoming more economically self-sufficient through job training, job search assistance and mentoring,” he said.

About PCUL

Founded in 1977, the Pinellas County Urban League is the premier social service and civil rights organization in Pinellas County, and is one of the National Urban League’s network of over 80 non-profit, community-based affiliates located in the United States.

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