A program to help unemployed older workers build skills and find work has received a three-year funding extension of $4.2 million, the Department of Labour and Workforce Development announced Tuesday.

The program, titled the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers, is a partnership with the federal government that identifies areas that have been, or could be, affected by closures or downsizing. The program works with community organizations to develop projects and is open to workers between the ages of 55 and 64.

A provincial government news release says 23 projects have helped almost 300 older workers in Nova Scotia since 2007, with more than 40 per cent gaining employment or starting their own business.