Strategic Goal – Workforce Quality
Addressing the acute workforce challenges in aging services is one of the strategic priorities at LeadingAge. The goal of the workforce initiative is to reposition the field of aging services to attract and support a quality workforce at all levels. It includes the following strategies:
- Strengthen Recruitment Through Partnerships
- Work with state partners to prioritize and build on their current affiliations.
- Establish high impact partnerships at the national level.
- Promote Promising Practices
- Collaborate with state partners to collect baseline and periodic data to increase our understanding of member workforce needs and current promising practices.
- Collaborate with members and state partners to promote and assist with the adoption of promising workforce practices and tools.
- Develop Policy and Communications Initiatives
- Work together with state partners to advocate for policy changes that address the workforce crisis.
- Establish the LeadingAge Center for Workforce Solutions.
- Develop and execute a national communications plan.
Workforce Initiatives Advisory Group
In 2017, LeadingAge created the Workforce Initiatives Advisory Group as part of this strategic priority. The goal of the group, which includes representatives from approximately 15 diverse LeadingAge provider communities and state partners, is to ensure that we share information about innovative workforce solutions taking place in states and member communities. The group will meet regularly to advise staff on workforce priorities from their varying perspectives and hear from outside experts, as needed.
Current LeadingAge National Activities
Currently, LeadingAge is focusing on five areas of activity with the understanding that they will take place over a period of time:
- Framing: The goal of this longer-term activity is to explore strategies for “framing” and make available to members messaging for their use about how working in aging services is a valued and valuable career choice. This activity will build on state efforts in this area and products are intended to be used to heighten awareness of these professions across settings and occupations and to attract individuals into the field.
- Gathering Promising Practices: Several states and provider communities have developed initiatives aimed at recruitment and retention of their employees. Our initial goal will be to gather promising practices from around the country and make them available to other states and members. Ultimately, we would like to showcase best practices—those that are “evidence-based” that have been shown to be successful.
- Scaling State Initiatives: Some states have developed comprehensive workforce initiatives. We will explore the potential for replicating/adapting these efforts in others states to help strengthen the infrastructure of our state affiliates in workforce development and the capacity of our members to recruit and retain a quality aging services workforce.
- Policy: LeadingAge advocates at the federal and state levels on a variety of policy issues related to workforce, including Medicaid/Medicare reimbursement; nursing home regulations and the use of CMP funds; and policy requirements and investment in staff education and training, etc. Our advocacy efforts at the national level will place an increased priority on advocating for policy changes that directly support the development of quality jobs in our sector. We also will learn more about state-based efforts to address workforce-related policy issues and share these initiatives through our state executive forum and national best practices clearinghouse.
- Key Partnerships: Many state associations and members already work closely with a range of educational and workforce development organizations including high schools, community colleges, professional schools within the secondary education system, professional associations and boards (nursing, social work, medicine), workforce investment boards, and Chambers of Commerce. We intend to build on these relationships and identify a subset of organizations with whom we will establish a formal relationship at the national level to help with enhancing the value of jobs in our sector and to advocate for policy change and investment.
What Can State Partners and Members Do?
The LeadingAge workforce initiative will be successful only if state partners and members can work together with the understanding that resources differ among organizations. For example, we welcome the following information from you based on our five areas of activity:
- Framing: For those states that have pursued this strategy, what are lessons learned? Based on your experience, what has been the return on investment? Do you have research to help craft a message on working in aging services?
- Gathering Promising Practices: We need your promising practices! LeadingAge will collate promising practices that we already know about, but we welcome your suggestions for people and providers that we can reach out to right now.
- Scaling State Initiatives: For those states who have been able to undertake comprehensive workforce initiatives, what have you learned? Which components do you think would be most scalable?
- Policy: How can we learn more about workforce initiatives at the state level? How are you currently getting this information? Would state policy information be useful to you?
- Key Partnerships: Who are your current partners? How do you work with them and what is the goal? What lessons have you learned?