LeadingAge Supports and Celebrates Vital Aging Services Professionals During National Workforce Development Month
Contact: Lisa Sanders, firstname.lastname@example.org 202-508-9407
September 1, 2022 (Washington, DC) — As National Workforce Development Month begins, the president and CEO of the premier organization representing nonprofit aging services providers urged Congress, the Biden Administration, and all Americans not to forget the crisis older adults and families face from a dire need for professional caregivers.
“This month is an opportunity for all Americans to take a moment and consider how each of us wants to age in this country. Policymakers and the Administration can make a difference and help older adults and families access critical care and services. But to do it, action is needed on all fronts–from the legislative and executive branches to the communities serving older adults,” said Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge, the association of nonprofit providers of aging services, whose members collectively met with staff from more than 60 Congressional offices, throughout July and August, to keep aging services workforce issues front-and-center as part of the LeadingAge Aging Services Workforce Now campaign.
Virginia Congressman Morgan Griffith’s staff visited Pulaski Adult Day Service & Fall Prevention Center last month to discuss “meaningful solutions to the workforce crisis in our community,” said Linda Davis, the center’s executive director. Time spent at one LeadingAge California nursing home member was “a great learning experience,” according to one California representative’s staff member, while her colleague appreciated the opportunity to hear “firsthand accounts of things happening right in” [the member’s] district.
Meetings like these, and other efforts, help to raise awareness not only of the essential services caregivers provide, but also the breadth of meaningful career opportunities in aging services. Public opinion surveys, such as LeadingAge’s Opening Doors to Aging Services research findings, show that a large percentage of Americans just don’t know how they view the aging services sector, while a recent poll of providers reveals that potential job candidates lack an understanding of the vast career paths and opportunities in long-term care.
“Understanding the many career paths and advancement opportunities is critical as we strive to grow the workforce,” said Sloan. “Every day, dedicated aging services professionals make a real difference in the lives of older adults. So today and throughout September, let’s spread the word about this incredible work, and of the many opportunities for rewarding careers in the aging services sector.”
During National Workforce Development Month, LeadingAge celebrates and supports the aging services workforce, spreads the word about the many opportunities for rewarding careers in the sector, and showcases a multitude of LeadingAge resources members can tap for staff development, recruitment and retention, and organizational enrichment in a range of care settings and communities. Members can also learn from members on numerous topics, from career development programs to recruitment initiatives that bring new employees from abroad.
- Perry Lutheran Homes in Iowa, for instance, in partnership with the Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC), created its “StepUp Career Advancement program” to help employees earn certifications and degrees through promotion, higher education, and tuition reimbursement.
- Cedar Falls, Iowa-based Western Home Communities in June welcomed hospitality interns to the United States through the State Department’s Exchange Visitor Program.
- In Illinois, Chicago Methodist Senior Services created United Methodist Healthcare Recruitment (UMHR) to facilitate the recruitment of 300 Filipino nurses annually; plans call for a pipeline expansion to countries in Africa.
And, above all, “let’s take this month to show our appreciation and respect for the critical professionals working in aging services,” said Sloan. “They have always been the heart of how we care for older adults and support families—and we need them more than ever.”About LeadingAge:
We represent more than 5,000 nonprofit aging services providers and other mission-minded organizations that touch millions of lives every day. Alongside our members and 38 state partners, we use applied research, advocacy, education, and community-building to make America a better place to grow old. Our membership, which now includes the providers of the Visiting Nurse Associations of America, encompasses the continuum of services for people as they age, including those with disabilities. We bring together the most inventive minds in the field to lead and innovate solutions that support older adults wherever they call home. For more information visit leadingage.org.
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