LeadingAge Marks National Workforce Development Month with Focus on Apprenticeships & Career Paths
The organization will convene an expert panel for a virtual event on September 26 to discuss the ways apprenticeships can grow the workforce—develop highly skilled workers, reduce turnover, increase productivity, and offer a pathway to career advancement.
LeadingAge, the association of nonprofit, mission-driven providers of aging services, is elevating key solutions and opportunities to help mitigate the workforce crisis in the aging services sector during National Workforce Development Month, September.
The field of professional caregiving alone is projected to add a total of 8.2 million jobs between 2018 and 2028. This number includes 1.3 million new direct care jobs—a 28% increase—and 6.9 million job openings that will occur when professional caregivers leave their existing jobs, more new jobs than any other occupation in the U.S. economy, according to a PHI Fact Sheet.
“There is no issue more pressing than workforce in aging services today,” said LeadingAge President and CEO Katie Smith Sloan. “The dedicated professionals supporting and caring for older adults are the heart of aging services, and we are committed to finding new, strategic ways to build the pipeline of qualified employees for our nonprofit and mission-driven members.”
LeadingAge will focus on apprenticeship strategies as part of the solution to the ongoing workforce crisis and to drive system change. The organization will convene an expert panel for a virtual event on September 26 to discuss the ways apprenticeships can grow the workforce—develop highly skilled workers, reduce turnover, increase productivity, and offer a pathway to career advancement.
“We are committed to providing support to our members adopting numerous workforce strategies to meet their current challenges,” said Jenna Kellerman, LeadingAge workforce strategies and solutions director. “With an influx of creative solutions to bolster the aging services sector—starting with programs to recruit, train, and retain a highly skilled workforce—our nation can ensure we all thrive as we age.”
LeadingAge’s ongoing advocacy through the Aging Services Workforce Now campaign presses for immediate investment in the aging services workforce—reminding Congress that without staff, there is no care. It will take strong federal support for a living wage, training and programs to recruit and retain qualified staff, focused efforts to build a pipeline to expand the workforce, and reform to long-term care finance to provide access to care and services for all older adults and families.
In addition, LeadingAge will kick off a national-local coordinated effort to elevate the range of career opportunities in aging services and highlight exceptional aging services professionals.
LeadingAge market research among potential employees found favorable impressions of the sector and an interest in a range of jobs. The findings also revealed potential applicants may not be aware of the numerous career paths within the field. This month’s efforts will highlight key areas of opportunity—administration, caregiving, culinary, environmental services, lifestyle, service coordinators, and transportation—on LeadingAge social media platforms, while LeadingAge members around the United States spotlight their employees locally.
“This month LeadingAge will share the vast variety of career opportunities that can help dedicated professionals build a career with a purpose,” said Sloan. “We invite individuals who seek more than a job—a role with meaning that brings fulfillment—to look no further than aging services.”