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$4.8 Million Awarded to Pennsylvania To Train Direct Care Workers

Gov. Tom Wolf
Gov. Tom Wolf Photo Credit: Pennsylvania Office of the Governor Official Website

Pennsylvania has been awarded more than $4.8 million in Direct Care Worker Training Grants (DCWTG) to improve the quality of care provided by direct care workers while earning family-sustaining wages, officials announced.

"As demand increases for essential services provided by direct care workers, their safety and the quality of care they provide must be maintained,” Gov. Tom Wolf said in a statement.

“Nearly 90 percent of direct care worker jobs are filled by women who receive limited health benefits and earn relatively low wages. These grants not only benefit our loved ones in long-term care facilities like nursing homes and receiving care at home, but also the workers who care for them.”

The program, awarded by the Department of Labor and Industry, is expected to create and develop training programs that increase the quality of services, offer specialty certifications, and create viable career opportunities for personal care assistants, home health aides, and certified nursing assistants, Wolf said.

The funds were distributed to these organizations:

$2 million to a partnership of the District 1199C Training and Upgrading Fund, SEIU HealthCare PA Education and Training Fund, and the Pennsylvania Health Care Association (PHCA) to develop a mutually beneficial solution to the COVID-19 direct care workforce crisis. The 1199C and SEIU Training Funds will partner with PHCA to provide effective, high-quality, career path-based occupational training and certification to 1,000 Pennsylvania residents, the release said.

$1.2 million to the Center for Independent Living of Central PA for training including CPR and first aid, universal precautions and infection control, fall prevention, and more, according to the release.

$1.2 million to the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit to increase the number of well-trained and retained direct care workers as part of the DCW Heroes project, which recruits, trains, hires, and retains employees who wish to enter and proceed along a healthcare path, officials said.

$407,000 to Penn Asian Senior Services to provide a combination of home health aide (HHA), certified nursing assistant (CNA), and Vocational English as a Second Language (VESL) training to prepare displaced and incumbent workers for careers in the healthcare industry, officials said.

“Direct care workers not only serve their patients, but they are also a true lifeline for families struggling to provide their loved ones with quality care,” said L&I Acting Secretary Jennifer Berrier.

“These training grants are a win-win for the workers who will get new skills and the patients in their care.”

For more information about the participating counties, click here.

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