Shapiro Administration To Invest $2.8 Million To Improve Job Quality For Direct Care Workers

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) has taken a significant step towards enhancing the quality of direct care jobs in Pennsylvania. On January 8, 2024, L&I announced an investment of $2.8 million in grant funding. This move aims to bolster the ranks of the state’s direct care workforce, focusing on improving job quality and expanding career advancement opportunities.

A Commitment to Quality Care and Workforce Development

L&I Secretary Nancy A. Walker highlighted the importance of this initiative. “By creating quality jobs for the direct care workforce, we also invest in quality of care for all Pennsylvanians, especially older residents and individuals with disabilities,” she stated. Walker emphasized the growing demand for a high-quality direct care workforce, given the aging population, and noted the Shapiro Administration’s proactive approach to addressing this need.

Building on Previous Efforts

This grant is part of ongoing efforts by Governor Josh Shapiro’s administration to enhance job quality for direct care workers. In his first year, Governor Shapiro allocated funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to increase wages for over 55,000 direct care workers. Additionally, the funding supported the establishment of a new worker registry and training programs for home-based care workers.

The Direct Care Worker (DCW) Grant: An Opportunity for Many

The DCW grant is designed to benefit direct care employers, their workers, and, most importantly, the patients they serve. It underscores the mutual advantages of improving job quality. Eligible organizations, such as local workforce development boards, non-profit and non-governmental entities, community-based organizations, and healthcare organizations, are encouraged to apply.

Each applicant may request up to $600,000, with the performance period slated to begin on July 1, 2024, and extend until February 28, 2026. The application deadline is February 29, 2024.

For further details about the DCW and other L&I grant opportunities, interested parties can visit L&I’s website.