In a year of chaos, stress, and uncertainty, 2020 showed the rest of the world the incredible efforts of our members to put in place measures that ensure the safety of residents and staff. It also cast a bright light on the workforce challenges that have been plaguing the long-term care community for years. LeadingAge PA recognizes the difficulties our members face, and understands the need for targeted efforts to continuously address these challenges. Workforce remains a top priority for our Association and we have reinvigorated our resolve to assist members in this endeavor. We are excited to look to the future for opportunities to be innovative in our mission to further develop the workforce for senior services.

Throughout the past year, LeadingAge PA is proud to have expanded our support through new and enhanced initiatives to assist members with workforce efforts. One exciting program we developed is the Higher Education Partnership Program, which came from creating relationships with various institutions of higher learning across the commonwealth to offer discounts to LeadingAge PA members' staff. Not only can members advertise this program as an employee benefit in their recruitment efforts, but it also can be used to encourage the professional development of existing staff. As we continue to build upon the success of this program, we intend to expand it to include a wide array of geographic and programmatic options to benefit our members and their teams.

We also hosted our Workforce Symposium this past November as part of our Fall Virtual Event. Our goal was to provide members with education and introduce new ways to form partnerships that benefit recruitment. We were able to bring together professionals from Workforce Investment Boards, institutions of higher education, and community groups to talk about the different ways in which members can engage with the greater community to recruit talent. We look forward to providing more opportunities for education and conversation with our industry leaders, as well as leaders in other industries, regarding best practices and opportunities for innovation.

In addition to these efforts, the LeadingAge PA Board of Directors and team have identified specific goals that will guide our efforts for workforce program development in the coming years. Through strategic partnerships, we will target regulatory obstacles, develop new initiatives, and assist our members with recruitment and retention practices. We are excited to continue this important work and build upon the foundations that were laid in 2020. 

It has been a year of incredible work, innovation, and heroic efforts by our members to keep their staff and residents healthy and safe. Our members have shown the world their dedication to quality, perseverance in a time of confusion and uncertainty, and commitment to their teams and to the residents entrusted to their care. Though future workforce challenges are unknown, we can choose to look to 2021 with hope as we focus on new opportunities. We look forward to taking this journey with you, our members, and creating success together in the new year!