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There is no perfect "place" to locate programs in the federal structure but it appears to us and the most of the people that I have talked with in these programs and in the field of aging that it would be much better to locate these programs in the Administration on Aging. We recommend that the Older Americans Volunteer programs be transferred in their entirety to the Administration on Aging.
We also recommend that the Foster Grandparents programs should be doubled because of both the desperate need for the services that they perform and the equally desperate need for jobs for older people who are low income and unenployed. The program can effectively absorb a doubling the first year and a 30% increase the next two years. The program should remain a direct federal contract program and not be routed through the states and AAAs.
RSVP can take and use effectively a 50% increase in FY 1976 and 50% more each of the following two years. The RSVP programs should be a federal contract with the program having the right to contract with states for services such as technical assistance and contract management where desirable, but because of the nature of the program structure the programs should not be routed through the AAAS.
The Senior ('ompanions program is now ready for expansion to a regular program and should be funded at $15 million the first year and be developed as a national contract program.
As a part of our public service efforts Carstenson and Associates have worked on a voluntary basis with these programs during the past year:
We have found the following:
1. If the Congress had not acted last year to change the formula, many of the programs would have died.
2. There is a lack of understanding and knowledge about older people and the FG and RSVP programs in the Regional office of ACTION. With decentralized regionalized programs, this is serious.
3. Most of the people in the field of aging and those people working in these programs want these programs transferred back to the Administration on Aging.
4. There is general agreement that the Foster Grandparent program should remain as a national contract program and not be funded through states.
5. There appears general agreement that RSVP and other programs should remain on a contract basis and not a state grant basis with the Older Americans Volunteer Program, RSVP Division being free to contract for services from the state units on aging as needed and desired either for technical assistance or contract management services, etc.
6. There is general agreement among everyone that the programs should not be funded through the AAAs. There should be provisions for the state unit on Aging and AAAs to comment (not approval) to AOA on the program with 30 day time limit for comments.
7. There is agreement that there should be expansion of the program now.
EMPLOYMENT FOR OLDER WORKERS
The Congress should include the Middle-aged and Older Workers program act the Department. The GETAs are following the word put out in a hundred different nated against the older worker in its own programs. There is discrimination against the older people in the U.S. Department of Labor.
There is a serious inequity in services for older persons in the programs of the Department. The GETAs are following the word put out in a hundred different subtle ways by the Manpower administration in Washington that older people who are unemployed are not high priority.
The current unemployment situation for older workers deserves your committees immediate attention. The current unemployment level is at 6.5 million of which 1.241,000 are over age 45 or 1.9%c of the unemployed. By in large these people have family responsibilities often lose their pensions rights when they lose their jobs, and face discrimination in trying to seek new jobs, and get little help from the present manpower programs. Only 5.6% of all manpower programs enrollees are over agc 45. Unemployment among workers over age 45 has increased 54% in the past 7 months.
Among the age group 55 and above over a half million (542,000) are unemploued according to the latest Labor Department figures, or an increase of 42% in the past 7 months. Yet people age 55+ constitute only 1.8% of all enrollees in all manpouer programs.
NEW ENROLLMENT OF PERSONS BY AGE IN SELECTED MANPOWER PROGRAMS ADMINISTERED BY THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
FISCAL YEAR 1973, AS OF JUNE 30, 1973
21 y! and under
22 to 44 yr
45 yr and over
55 yr and over
1 Total does not include enrollees in construction outreach and PSC-Plan D as characteristics data are not available.
11, 459, 600
2 JOBS age break; over 44 years, information not available on persons over 55.
3 WIN age breaks are 40 to 44 years and over 44 years, information not available on persons over 55. Source: Robert Yerger, OAM, 376-6074. Only in the Mainstream program which the Congress has insisted that the Labor department keep, is the percentage of older workers high with 52% over age 45 and 40% over age 55. Mostly these are in the Senior Aides and Green Thumb programs. If you take out the NYC programs and eliminate those two types of senior citizen programs (Green Thunib and Senior Community Service Aides programs which the labor Department has tried to abolish) the result is that still only 1.7% of the manpower programs go to older workers over age 55.
The half million over age 55 or 8.3% of the unemployed is overlooking an important fact that there is another 921,000 men and 5.5 million women ages 55 to 64 who are not officially in the labor force. The Senate Committee conservatively estimates that 25% of the men in this age group and 10% of the women would like to work and would be seeking employment if there was hope and if job market weren't so tight. That hidden unemployment would total 780,000. Over age 55 (excluding all those who have left the labor market over age 65.) This would mean that an estimated 18% of the unemployed and hidden unemployed are over age 55.
In any analysis that I did in one state which revealed similar unemployment levels to the national levels, I found that among the long term unemployed seeking employment the older worker over 45 constituted about 40% and those over 55 constituted about 30%. While I do not have figures for the nation, I am sure that the picture is much worse when you look at long term unemployment.
I doubt that many people are really deeply worried about the person who is unemployed for only two weeks and finds a job. But a person who is head of a household, who is 57 and hasn't found a job in 3 months is somebody that somevody ought to worry about. From the above statistics it is clear that the manpower program directors are not.
I directed the very successful Green Thumb and Green Light, and Older Worker OJT programs. That taught me there are special program designs and techniques needed to work with older workers. The present CETA manpower programs lack those designs, techniques, and programs. Something needs to happen if the manpower programs, which this Committee designed, is to help the approximately 2 million people over age 45 who are unemployed or who would like to work. I know that my good friend Congressman Quie doesn't like categorical programs and I went along with him two years ago in dropping the Middle-aged and Older Workers program that the Senate had passed. The fact is that these figures show that the problem is getting worse not better. The administration is now requesting to withhold or impound funds from the Mainstream programs (the only significant program serving older workers). SENIORS SHOULD NO LONGER BE FOOLED BY the inclusion of that kind of language in manpower legislation. The Labor Department ignores those words. Congress must assert its policy through tough language and categorical programs. Department of Labor will ignore loosely worded directives in law to serve the older worker and give equity to older workers.
In the negotiating with the Domestic Council of the White House for members of this Committee in 1978 on the Older Americans Act programs, the figure of $90 million was agreed to as both the realistic and firm authorization and appropriate level for Title IX. I called this Committee about the agreement which helped avoid a veto. The Administration broke its word and has fought against even that amount under both acts. Their actions speak louder than their words. It is time that the Congress put the policy direction straight.
To me, it is a crime when the unemployed older head of the household can't get help from manpower pgograms and a younger person without family responsibilities gets preference. 61% of all manpower program enrollees are under age 21. The manpower training and placement programs, and PEP and Emergency Employment jobs are too often designed for younger workers and efforts are focused on recruiting the younger worker. The older worker usually never stands a chance.
I am proud that I have had a hand in the formation and development of the Senior Citizen Community Service Employment Program (Title IX) programs and that these are among the most popular and best received federally funded programs. Many of you have helped and have inspected the programs.
I would like to recommend one minor change in Title IX. I believe that it should be in the law that national contractors of Title IX programs should provide the state units on aging and AAAs a summary of any major proposal (and budget) relative to their state or area, giving the states and the area agents on aging 20 days from date of receipt to comment to the Department of Labor and national contractor on these proposals relative to their states and areas. I urge that Title IX be funded at $120 million.
I urge you to act decisively to include the older worker "in" for their fair share of attention from the Manpower program.
SUMMARY OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF DR. BLUE CARSTENSON Funding of Title IX at $120 million dollars in 1976.
Transfer of the entire Older Americans Volunteer Programs to AOA with increased funding but not requiring them to be funded through the states and AAA but providing for contracts for services from the states.
Mandatory requirements at all programs under the Older American Act submit a summary of proposals to the states and AAAs involved for review and comment not approval.
A one year freeze on reducing the local share of all Title III programs because of the economic situation.
Continuation of the authorization for the senior citizen transportation program under title 309 at $15 million for FY 76.
Re-emphasis of the role of the Older American Act as a catalyst to help create change rather than an emphasis upon the Older American Act as a delivery system.
Increase the effective of AOA and the states in impacting federal and state programs by providing that they can use limited amounts of certain funds for cooperative projects with other state and federal agencies.
Passage of the Middle aged and Older Worker program as a first step to stop the Department of Labor from discriminating against the estimated 2 million older workers who are unemployed or who would like to work and who currently receive less than 6% of the manpower training, services, and jobs.
Oppose the mandatory direct funding of Indian tribes until further hearings from the Indians themselves both the Tribes and older Indian individuals and the state which are involved.
Minor modifications of the relationships between the states and the AAA and in the administrative procedures and request more administrative monies for the increased work load at the state level for the small and middlesized states, and that when Congress increase the responsibilities of the stable in administering programs the Congress should provide the funds to administer them.
Increase the funding of Title III to $150 million during FY 1976 as it is insufficient to carry out the objectives and demands of the Older American Act.
PREPARED STATEMENT OF ELEANOR SLATER, DIRECTOR OF THE RHODE ISLAND
DIVISION ON AGIxG The Older Americans Act reaches the lives of tens of thousands of Older Rhode Islanders and I wish to thank the Congress for its leadership for this opportunity for service to and by older people.
I am proud that the late Rhode Island Congressmen, John Foggarty and Aime Forand pioneered the Older Americans Act and the Medicare, and that Congressman Forand pioneered as the founding president of the 2 large National Organizations of Older people the National Council of Senior Citizens.
As State Director of the Division on Aging of the Rhode Island Department of Co-munity Affairs, I take my stewardship of AOA funds seriously, stretching every dollar to do double duty for old folks.
We have established a network of senior centers, nutritious programs and senior citizen housing projects which serve the state's older population of 100,000. We have worked to make sure that lives are served and suffering prevented by providing the needed health service of free flu shots for older people for the past 3 years. We are serving more than 20,000 meals a month under Title VII. The need is so great we could triple the number of meals served in one month if you would give us the funds,
We have created the first state-wide senior citizen demand-response system using some 39 mini buses or vans with radio dispatching on a reserve-a-ride basis. Older people in Rhode Island thanks to the Older American Act can go anywhere in the state for essential services. We bring people into our medical celle ters for treatment such as dialysis rather than forcing them to live in institutious. Our Senior Citizen Transportation system gives older people "Wheels” and gives them access to the world and to medical appointments, nutrition programs, grocery shopping, social security offices, drug stores, senior citizen programs and services, and if there is time left over social things. Over 142 of the people attending the nutrition programs go by our Senior transportation system. The success in large measure of the nutrition and the health programs and senior centers, is because of these mini-buses. The mini-buses are the glue that keep the usage high and its possible for senior citizens to participate in our programs.
It means that older people are not stuck in their houses in the community even if they have to get about in a walker or wheel chair. Most of the people who use the service can physically cope with the public with the public transit system. They are just that agile. We hope that you will continue to expand the Senior Citizen Transportation 309 program to $15 million and help us get appropriations this fiscal year.
What good is it to create hospitals, nutrition programs, senior centers, social security offices, and all the rest, if older people cannot get to them.
I also would like to request that you change the law so that those states who choose to operate as a single-area state and to have a single statewide area plan do not have to sacrifice $160,000 of program money. We are a small state and a single area agency makes sense. But we have to give up the state allocation of administrative money ($160.000) and operate our state office totally out of the Title III program money. This means less for programs. I urge that Congress provide $220,000 for the minimum amount for each state office operation plus eight percent of the Title Three program fund for the operation of our statewide area plan. This would be fair and would give us enough to operate and administer the program of the Older Americans Act in the way that I think you want it.
As a state executive, I do want to register a problem with the Congress. The Federal Government has been steadily increasing its demands for detailed planning information and paper work. The amount of administrative time being spent by this office and every other office in the country has been increasing at an alarming rate. Even with the State of Rhode Island being relatively small, the amount of paper work has grown until there is precious little time to actually implement the plan and provide technical assistance to the agencies in the field. Part of this is the long time it took to write this year's plan. We have just received the final OK on the plan for FY 75 about two months ago and that took several months of my very able experienced deputy Frank Centazzo. I have just received mailing from AOA telling us that we have to start work on next year's plan. We are spending so much time planning especially the detailed analysis, that it is hurting our effort to get the job done.
I would hope that the Congress would send a message to ABA to all the Bureaucrats that regulations, guidelines, and other paper from Washington should be single, in clear language, short and to the point. The state-area plans should set clear objectives and goals. If the Federal Government accepts these goals, then it is the state's responsibility to reach those objectives and we should be given the flexibility that we have had. But the Federal Government should insist that we meet these goals. They can and do furnish technical assistance but the weeks and weeks spent on details of planning between the state and the federal government will not help us to get the job done.
Currently we provide many services to the RSVP program including technical assistance, evaluation, "linkages", and other things. We have been closely involved in the programs of Older American Volunteer programs. However, we find that these programs are not functioning well under Action. We urge that this program be transferred and that the kind of close cooperative relationship that existed before when Foster Grandparents and RSVP were in AOA be re-established.
We hope and trust that this Committee will be able to move the programs forward. We are very proud that Congressman Beard of Rhode Island whom I have known for some time and whom I have worked with in regard to senior citizens is now a member of this Committee. The seniors in this state know that he is their champion and supported him in his race for Congress because of his strong positions on senior citizen issues in the Legislature where he worked on the issue of senior citizen transportation.
We could easily triple the program of mutrition in a month if the funds were available. We need to have assistance for the transportation program quickly. We want the RSVP. Sr. Companions and Foster Grandparents in the AOA family We could use more funds, a flexibility and less paperwork under Title III.
As a former member of the Rhode Island Legislature. I know that you have many hard decisions ahead and will try to do the best for Senior Citizens.