Minnesota newspaper Duluth News Tribune published a letter to the editor from Lutheran Services in America president and CEO Charlotte Haberaecker, in which Ms. Haberaecker advocated the passage of the Direct Creation, Advancement, and Retention of Employment Opportunity (CARE) Act. Read the letter below or find it in the Duluth News Tribune's library of letters.
One in four Americans has a disability, and many rely on direct support professionals for long-term care and to help them integrate into their communities. Combine this with the fact that by 2030 one in five Americans will be a senior, many of whom live with chronic health conditions, and it becomes clear that our nation requires a stable, well-trained, direct support workforce.
Direct care workers are the backbone of long-term care, both in Minnesota and nationwide. Yet workforce shortages are approaching crisis levels. Something must be done to reverse course.
The promising news is that federal lawmakers recently introduced the Direct Creation, Advancement, and Retention of Employment (CARE) Opportunity Act, or CARE Act. It focuses on developing and strengthening the direct support workforce needed to care for so many Americans. It calls for investing in innovative solutions to address workforce shortages today and for creating a pipeline of workers to care for elderly and disabled people in years to come.
By voting for this bill this legislative session, lawmakers have a concrete opportunity to stand by so many Minnesotans and Americans who are relying on a well-trained and stable direct support workforce.
The writer is president and CEO of Lutheran Services in America.