MASST program benefits both senior job hunters and agencies

Older workers play an increasingly important role in Alaska’s economy. The Alaska Department of Workforce Development in partnership with the Alaska Commission on Aging are launching “Strengthen Alaska Workforce by Employing the Older Worker” to raise awareness of the valuable resource older workers provide. Together with Mature Alaskans Seeking Skills Training (MASST), these agencies develop innovative strategies that assist seniors in obtaining employable skills and finding suitable work in today’s job market. Governor Dunleavy has proclaimed the week of September 20-26, 2020 as “Employ Older Workers Week.”

Become a partner agency

The MASST program is seeking public and nonprofit agencies to offer community service training to local seniors through the program. We hope you consider becoming a host agency. The intent of MASST is to place older individuals in community service positions and provide job training to help them become self-sufficient. Non-profit and public service agencies partner with MASST to provide valuable training for seniors to gain the skills needed to find employment and to provide civic engagement.

Local host agencies provide meaningful training and work experience in exchange for federally subsidized community service hours. Host sites enhance services and operations they could not otherwise accomplish due to lack of funding while engaging seniors.

MASST participants provide community service through clerical duties, landscaping, customer service and client support. Assisting with recycling, disaster relief, museum operations, childcare programs, and homeless shelters are just a few of the many community service positions statewide.

Why become a host agency?

- Senior workers benefit your agency through a rich, intergenerational work environment.

- You can make a difference in the lives of older individuals in your community.

- Host agencies help transform job skills through work experience, coaching and supervision.

- Subsidized community service positions allow the opportunity to gear training to your specific needs.

Become a participant

Mature workers have so much to offer as members of today’s workforce. While they possess strong work ethic, resourcefulness, a lifetime of valuable career skills, technical knowledge, and life experience necessary to be assets to any workplace, what they often lack is opportunity.

Mature workers benefit from training and skills that help them reenter the work force, as well as remain engaged and visible in their community. Host agencies have access to trainees who are eager to learn and contribute to the success of their programs. Employers can hire qualified candidates with flexible schedules, maturity, and a strong work ethic.

Who is eligible for services?

- Individuals must be 55 years of age or older

- Have limited or low income

- Be unemployed and not work-ready

Participants receive help developing their resume, practice their interviewing skills and obtaining potential job leads to improve their chances of landing a job and increasing the pool of highly motivated and qualified mature workers.

The MASST program operates in partnership with AK Job Center Network throughout the state. There are coordinators in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Mat-Su, Kenai Peninsula, and Juneau. For more information on becoming a host site partner or participant, please contact Rita Gray at 907 465-4872 or

Laurie Cowgill manages the MASST program at the Peninsula Job Center in Kenai.