Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainier Region, based in Tacoma, is one of 20 regional Goodwill Organizations that will split a $16.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to help older job seekers.

Specifically, the grant will fund for job training and employment services through the Senior Community Employment Program. Seniors will learn new job skills while training at public and nonprofit organizations in their communities, such as housing agencies, food banks, libraries, schools, senior centers and child care centers.

The goal is for the skills they learn in the program to lead to employment in the private or public sector for which wages, or wages and tips, are paid that equal or exceed the federal hourly minimum wage.

“Goodwill builds relationships with employers to help them understand the benefits of hiring older workers,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “Programs like SCSEP enable us to provide the appropriate training to ensure older workers are job ready.”

Goodwill's SCSEP effort has helped more than 8,502 older workers across the country since 2006.