SER Program is a Win-Win for SEKRS

August 11, 2017

Mary CarrMary Carr started with SEKRS in April 2016 working with the Respite program, assisting Diane Salyers, SEKRS program manager. She first carried out administrative activities that come with an established program involving customers and caregivers. Next, she was just the right fit for an active role entering data for the Payee Program, and now she has moved on to payroll data input. Formerly she was the administrative assistant to SKIL director, a local provider of services to persons with disabilities. When that job ended, she turned to the SER/Senior Community Services Employment Program. SER SCSEP provides paid training opportunities to update current job skills or to develop new skills. She interviewed, met with Diane, and couldn’t be happier with her decision to join the SEKRS team. Mary said, “Once you start here, you are part of the family.” She likes the people, the atmosphere, and the work.

Mary is a longtime Labette County resident, she has traveled the deep South and the Midwest, raised two children, and once again calls southeast Kansas home along with her dog, Duke.

Ken SmithKen Smith recently joined the SEKRS team after ten years of managing convenience stores in the Kansas City area. With his staff having survived three robberies and with an ongoing health condition, he looked for something new, less stress, cool in the summer, something interesting to do that tapped into the detailed computer work he likes. He turned to the SER SCSEP program. He said, “SER really kind of saved my life. I had been applying for a job with no luck. Once I connected with SER, things changed and one week later I had my choice of two jobs.” Ken does data entry for the SEKRS Payee Program and though he hadn’t previously done this sort of work, he likes it, and he’s really good at it.

Ken grew up in the Parsons area, has so many hobbies and interests that he is never bored, interesting things like gardening, painting, pottery, computers, and cooking, and lives with his dog, Brandy.

Diane says, “This program is a win-win for SEKRS and the SER participants. We have worked with SER in the past, but I have to say the skills of the current workers are the very best yet. Our contribution to the program is to provide training to Mary and Ken, and because of their ability and experience, it has been effortless. Both Mary and Ken are a very important part of our team and we have grown to rely on them.”

SER SCSEP is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor and focuses on the needs of mature workers, the community and employers. SER SCSEP prepares eligible mature workers for unsubsidized jobs through training at community based organizations. The eligible worker will receive a stipend while he or she is in training with the goal of getting unsubsidized employment. If you have a job to fill, please consider the SER program. For more information contact, Aime Cope, State Coordinator/ Employment Training Specialist, SER Jobs for Progress National, Inc., by phone at 620-431-1280 or email Online at

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