With a population that is aging faster than the national average, New Hampshire is facing an increasing demand for healthcare and support services and a heavier reliance on home and community based services for long term care. It is projected that the need for community based direct care workers will increase in the near future and that the demand will rapidly outpace the supply.
The New Hampshire Coalition for Direct Care Workforce, with a broad representation from stakeholders, was established in 2007 in order to address this critical workforce shortage. Based on challenges, barriers and recommendations identified by the coalition through provider and worker surveys, New Hampshire proposed to create an infrastructure to recruit, train, and retain high-quality community-based direct care workers to meet current needs and prepare for projected job growth in the field. A $2.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, known as DirectConnect, was awarded to the Institute on Disability in response to the proposal.
DirectConnect will address the growing direct care workforce shortage in New Hampshire by providing recruitment, training and retention opportunities aimed at creating a sustainable workforce. The program incorporates a multi-prong approach to workforce development which includes:
- Creation of a professional direct care career lattice incorporating agency-based orientation and training, national best-practice curriculums, professional credentialing and college degree programs to prepare workers for placement and advancement.
- Establishment of a tuition scholarship fund that will provide funding for agency trainings, College of Direct Support certificates and Community College certificates and degrees.
For more information, visit the DirectConnect website (opens new window).