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BY SUSAN USHER
Mattie Griffin was a little nervous
about returning to work last month?she
turned 65 in October and it's
been five years since she worked her
Her duties in the office of Regina
White, clerk to the Brunswick CountyBoard
of Commissioners, are both
temporary and part-time. But it's a
start?and that's what the Senior
A i H P Prnoram in mKinn ?
. .v.0.M? ui one patticlpates
is all about.
A United Way agency, the program
hires senior citizens to fill community
service slots in Brunswick, NewHanover,
Columbus and Pender
SENIOR AIDE MATTIE GRIFFIN 1
by her son, Keith, while on the job at
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counties, according to program
director Dewey L. Graham of Wilmington.
Nine senior aides presently
.ruin, in urunswiCK County and
there's an open slot in the Brunswick
county Volunteer and Information
Center office at Bolivia.
"We try to provide them with recent
work experience so they can get
onsubsidized jobs," said Graham.
"There's no limit on how long they
can stay in the program. W'e encourage
them to look for oilier jobs
when their self-confidence is built up
and they have some skills."
Grace Bratt provides a good example
ot now the program is meant to
work. She was first employed in the
IL ..,.1 XI
STAFf PHOTO IV SUSAN USHI.R
ooks over a job application submitted
the county administration office.
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es Seniors ^
Volunteer and Information Center as
a senior aide and was hired full-time
when a permanent position became
People are generally unaware of
the program, Graham said, because
the workers are placed in "host"
agencies such as VIC. In Brunswick
County, for instance, two senior aides
operate the Home Missions Center in
Bolivia, one works for the Town of
Navassa, one for the Brunswick
County Department of Social Services,
one for Southeastern Mental
Health, one for SENCland Community
Action, two in the Volunteer and
A typical senior aide slot might last
Sellers, director of the
Employment Security Commission's
Bolivia office, said workers age 55
and older make up only about one
percent of those seeking jobs through
the office. Most are female.
"We had had problems trying to fill
the job slots" in the senior aide program.
she said. Of those who meet
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the minimum age requirement of 55,
most don't qualify as economical!)
disadvantaged, based on factors such
as family size and earned income.
Graham said funding for 66 senior
aide jobs in the four-county area is
provided through a $300,000 grant
from thp I IS Honarfmonf ,vf I ?
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through the National Council of
Senior Citizens. United Way pays administrative
and overhead costs of
the program, which began in 1S77.
While working at their aiue job,
they're encouraged to look about for
job opportunities. At the same time,
he said, in excliange for getting a
"free" employee, the host agency is
expected to train the worker and consider
hinr/irei sol any position that
becomes available during their
tenure with the agency.
"I'm already looking," Mrs. Griffin
said from behind a desk in the lobby
of the county administrative suite.
While keeping alert to job
possibilities, she also does light typing,
files, takes inventory, answers
the phone and meets the public,
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"whatever I'm asked to do."
l-ast Thursday morning applicants
interested in an animal control of
i n.^1 s juu ncpi tier ousy distributing
forms; tI;ose applying included her
son, Keith, who with his wife recently
moved to Brunswick County from
Charlotte. They're expecting their
first child?and Mrs. Griffin's first
A Rocky Mount native, Mrs. Griffin
luul worked 23 years for Burlington
industries, moving her way
upward from payroll to general
ledger clerk, loiter she worked four
years as a teacher's aide in Nash
County, also driving a bus two of
those years. She also worked about
six years either full- and part-time
for Daughtridge Gas & Oil Co. in
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one nun null a SCC0M1 nollle 111
Brunswick County for seven or eight
years, near her sister's place close to
Holdcn Bench. "It was peaceful and
quiet; 1 liked it," she said.
After retirement, widowed and
with her son grown, she sold the
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I, Thursday, January 3, 1985?Page 9
family home in Rocky Mount, bought
a lot and mobile home and moved
permanently to the Holden Beach
area. "There's not too much to do,"
she said, "but 1 love it here."
She takes great pleasure in the out
doors, particularly walking and
shelling at the beach, and enjoys
gardening in the small space
available. Mrs. Griffin said she and
her sister freeze and can "everything
we can get our hands on in the summer,"
though good produce was in
short supply last summer.
"She's the inside cat and I'm the
outside dog." she Quipped. "She's
content to stay indoors; I've got to be
Once a frequent fisherman, she
lacks both a fishing buddy and a rod
and reel at present.
She likes to crochet and embroider,
but even with these hobbies, Mattie
Griffin had too much time on her
Before starting back to work, she
said, "I was bored staying at home
all the time."
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