Thursday, June 29, 2017

A Senior Community Employment Program (SCSEP) Success Story

L to R: Elmetra Patterson, FODP Vice President, Jerome Moncrief, Curtis Moncrief, FODP President Richard Moncrief,

Friends of Dean Park, Inc. (FODP) honored Jerome Moncrief at the Juneteenth Day Festival, June 3, 2017. He was presented a plaque to be placed on a garden bench in Dean Park for his exemplary service at Dean Park as a Garden and Landscape Assistant since 2009.

Friends of Dean Park, Inc. has been in partnership with the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) as a Host Agency since 2009 with 2 slots for trainees. To qualify for SCSEP, the participants must be unemployed, 55 years or older with family income not to exceed 125% of the federal poverty income guidelines. These are part-time temporary community service assignments purposed to provide meaningful training through work experience and job skills that can lead to unsubsidized employment.
FODP’s first contract as Host Agency was with the Institute for Indian Development, Choctaw, MS. Jerome Moncrief and Walter Boyd were our first trainees in 2009.

FODP’s second contract started with Experience Works on October 18, 2012, Beattyville, KY. Jerome Moncrief, Mark Collins and Florence Thompson worked under that agency
Sandra Fowler-Howze &  Financial Secretary, Jerome Moncrief

FODP’s present contract started with The National Caucus and Center on Black Aging, Inc., (NCBA) Cleveland, MS on February 1, 2017 with trainees Jerome Moncrief, Florence Thompson and Mark Collins.

With previous agencies, participants had 4 years to be transferred out of the training program into employment. However, Jerome Moncrief was waived because of his learning challenges until this year the new agency could NCBA could not waive him. They wanted to make room for other seniors. Jerome’s deadline for this program was May 22, 2017. The community has missed Jerome being at the park since then. He has been a fixture at Dean Park in his training position as a garden and landscape assistant. Jerome learned how to take care of plants, how to transplant, plant, weed, water, use pesticides and weed killer. He learned some about designing garden beds; to grow and harvest vegetables. Jerome was a very responsible trainee who made it to work no matter the weather. Elmetra Patterson stated, “I would call Jerome to tell him that it was too cold to work when it was 32 degrees or below or when it was too hot to work. He would tell me Ok but he was just going to go over there and check on the park to see if there was any trash to pick up. What dedication!!” She also said that it was with Jerome that the two of them discovered that the water line was broken after the 2014 tornado in the park. According to her, it had been running two days after the tornado. She also stated, “We can’t bear to lose Jerome. It is a community joke that Jerome knows every inch of Dean Park and everybody because he has lived behind Dean Park since 1972, which is when his family moved back from New York City. That was the year that the park was taken over by the county and named after Milton Dean. ”

After several meetings with Paul Eichelberger, Job Counselor and Louise Shavers, Job Developer for NCBA, the Friends of Dean Park, Inc. proposed to the Board of Supervisors and the Dean Park Commission that Jerome Moncrief be hired as a part-time employee by the county. President Richard Moncrief and Vice President Elmetra Patterson met with the Dean Park Commission on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 to be informed that Jerome Moncrief is hired by the county and will start his employment on Monday, June 26, 2017. Jerome Moncrief, FODP, NCBA are grateful to the Winston County Supervisors: Luke Parkes, Larry Duran, Burr Warner, Ralph Goss and Marion Jordan; Dean Park Commissioners: Paul Coburn, John Edwards, Carolyn Hampton., Annie Hudson and Willie Holman for a successfully end to this story.