Direct-care workers to be focus of summit examining best practices, research and policy

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It's said approximately 90% of direct long-term care is performed by aides, and it is that category of worker that will be highlighted at a daylong summit Thursday in the nation's capital. The invitation-only event will feature a keynote address by Gerri Fiala, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Employment & Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor. Stakeholders involved in eldercare, research and policy will conduct panel sessions focusing on current and future conditions.

The event is being organized by Jobs for the Future and PHI, leading national organizations in, respectively, workforce and educational development and direct-care workforce policy and practice.

“While direct-care positions, such as home health aides and nursing assistants, continue to lead all occupations in projected growth, filling and keeping staff in these critical roles are constrained by low wages and difficult work conditions,” organizers noted. “At the same time, powerful new models are emerging for delivering care and improving the jobs and career mobility of direct care workers. And new or prospective policies … present opportunities for rethinking care and the job of caregiving in productive ways.”

Among the approximately 75 individuals taking part in the event will be representatives of groups as diverse as LeadingAge, AARP, SEIU Healthcare, The Green House Project®, the Urban Institute, Pennsylvania State University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Hitachi Foundation and the John A. Hartford Foundation.

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