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Senior Employment Success!

Bunny Graves

At age 84, Bunny Graves enjoys working for extra money with a job she landed through TARCOG’s senior job training program.

“It has helped me tremendously especially the way prices keep going up and up,” Bunny said. She reached out to John Sanders, manager of TARCOG’s Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) back in September 2022 after learning about the program while donating to a local charity.

“During Covid, prices started going up and while I felt like I had enough to survive, I thought it would be nice to have some pin money,” Bunny said. “If you don’t know what pin money is, it’s from a long time ago when the ladies used to save all their money from selling their bread, eggs or vegetables from their gardens so they could buy steel sewing pins, and that’s why it’s called ‘pin’ money.”

She hadn’t worked anywhere since 2011, but John said she had a solid work history and a great attitude. Placement during the pandemic was challenging, but he had assignments to keep Bunny busy until a placement worked out.

Bunny remembers going on a couple of interviews that just didn’t work out. But then, she went to the Robert “Bob” Harrison Senior Wellness and Advocacy Center in north Huntsville. That’s where she went into training as a front desk clerk on Dec. 6. 2022. Recently, the center hired her before it was time for her to move to another worksite with the four-year training program.

Working part-time, she fills in for staff if they’re busy, makes out membership applications, gives tours around the building, and helps in any way she can.

“Ms. Bunny has been a joy to us and our customers here at the Bob Harrison Center and her enthusiasm and brightness has brightened my days,” said Deitrick Smart, the center manager.

Bunny was the first SCSEP placement for the Harrison Center, but Deitrick said he’s expecting another trainee to assist with the Nutrition Program starting in June.

“It’s working out great for us,” he said.

John said the senior employment training program is a “win-win” for both sides. In Bunny’s situation, she will work 20 hours each week and her new job netted her a 29 percent pay increase. The senior center gained an employee with a proven track record.