COVID-19 Business Resource Center



News Release: 3/15/2021

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March 22, 2021

Meritan receives a $5,000.00 grant from the Union Pacific Community Ties Giving Program for our Older Workers Program.

March 22, 2020 – Meritan announced today that it was awarded a grant of $5,000.00 from the Union Pacific Community Ties Giving Program for their Older Workers Program. The Older Workers program is an employment skills, placement, retention skills, and community service opportunity for low income older adults. Job seekers in the Older Worker program have experienced barriers to entering or reentering the workforce. The program seeks to help them overcome those barriers and ready themselves to find unsubsidized full-time employment through training and a paid part-time position at a local non-profit or government agency. All participants are at least 55 and over and live in a household with income no more than 125 percent of the federal poverty level.

Union Pacific’s Community Ties Giving Program provides small- and medium-sized grants that align with the railroad’s priority cause areas in safety, workforce development and community spaces. “Union Pacific proudly supports organizations that improve the quality of life where our employees live and work,” said Scott Moore, senior vice president-Corporate Relations, chief administrative officer and Union Pacific Foundation President. “Investing in high-quality, nonprofit programs puts our communities in a position for future growth and prosperity.”

Meritan’s Older Workers Program provides training opportunities that lead to increased self-sufficiency for participants. The program helps them to develop a sense of personal and occupational identity, including defining realistic job goals. It allows for the development of ample job-related knowledge and the flexibility to gain a wide array of skills and experiences that can transfer to another job as opportunities for advancement arise. Additionally, participants grow in personal and social skills and accept the supervision required for successful job performance. All participants are at least 55 and over living in a household with income no more than 125 percent of the federal poverty level. They are paid minimum wage while they gain marketable job skills performing part-time community service assignments at non-profit and public organizations such as senior centers, schools, and libraries. The program provides a win-win for participants and their communities: participants help community organizations extend their reach and capabilities while developing their job skills, self-confidence, and a restored sense of self-worth.

CaSondra Amos, Vice President of Meritan’s Home and Community Based Services and Senior Employment, stated, “Meritan’s Older Worker Program is an avenue for older workers to receive training and positioning for entry or re-entry into the workforce. Participants can get the job done, and that is what employers want.”

Chessie Hayes, Director of Development at Meritan, stated, “We are so thankful for the support of the Union Pacific Community Ties Giving Program. We are thankful to have created this community relationship with Union Pacific  Community Ties Giving Program, so we can expand the positive work that we do throughout our community.”

For more information about Union Pacific Community Ties Giving Program visit

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About Meritan:

Meritan is a nonprofit organization dedicated to “improve well-being and promote independence throughout life’s stages with quality and compassion.” Meritan’s vision is to fill in service gaps and meet unmet needs, to provide services that benefit humanity and improve the community, to be financially secure, to be a good place for people to work, to be a place that clients and referral sources seek out, to be a leader in our industry, and to be passionate about quality. Our current suite of programs includes home health, in-home personal care services, family-model residential services, specialized foster care, job training and career services for low-income senior citizens, and elder abuse victim services.

Lastly, Meritan’s has a unique organizational history and high level of subject matter expertise in aging populations. Meritan, Inc. was originally chartered by the State of Tennessee in 1961 as The Senior Citizens Center. We have been a key resource to the aging population of Tennessee ever since. Meritan is also a founding member of the Shelby County Coordinated Response to Elder Abuse (CREA).

To learn more, visit

About Union Pacific Community Ties Giving Program: 

Throughout its existence, the success of Union Pacific's business has been inextricably linked to the economic and community well-being of cities and towns across the nation. They take pride in the role they have played in helping communities thrive, and believe the impact we can have on local communities is greatest when it is authentic to our history and the company we are today. As such, they have carefully aligned their Local Grants cause areas to their company's unique heritage, strengths, and assets. Specifically, they prioritize funding for direct services and efforts that build the capacity of organizations focused on the following causes within our local operating communities: safety, workforce development, community spaces, local needs, and COVID-19 relief grants. 

To learn more, visit

Chessie Hayes, Director of Development, (901) 766-0600

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