01/20/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/20/2021 11:40
Governor Tom Wolf announced today more than $4.8 million has been awarded in Direct Care Worker Training Grants (DCWTG) to improve the quality of care provided by direct care workers while creating opportunities for them to build new careers and earn family-sustaining wages.
'As demand increases for essential services provided by direct care workers, their safety and the quality of care they provide must be maintained,' said Gov. Wolf. '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 Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) awarded the DCWTGs to four eligible grantees that submitted proposals. The program will 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.
The DCWTG programs operate from January 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022.
The following organizations received DCWTG funds:
'Direct care workers not only serve their patients, 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.'
The Long-Term Care Council, which advises the Department of Aging and other agencies on long-term care issues, developed the Blueprint for Strengthening Pennsylvania's Direct Care Workforce. This report recommended the establishment of standardized core training for direct care workers to provide career pathways throughout the continuum of long-term services and supports.
'Direct care workers are the cornerstone of long-term care, so I'm pleased to see how the important work of the Long-Term Care Council and its recommendations in the Blueprint for Strengthening Pennsylvania's Direct Care Workforce has helped inform the goals and strategies of the DCWTG program,' said Secretary of Aging Robert Torres, who chairs the Council. 'The organizations awarded this funding will be uniquely positioned to train workers to ensure the needs of the residents are met in these diverse communities.'
Direct Care Worker Training Grants of up to $2 million are available through L&I's reemployment funding to assist individuals in becoming employed or improving their employment, including job search and placement services, educational enhancement, job training and job readiness and workplace skills training.