At its last meeting of the year at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston (MassArt), the BHE approved the Massachusetts Allied Health Direct Care Workforce Plan to create “stackable credentials” for workers in community-based settings. The largely female direct care workforce includes certified nurse assistants, medical assistants, personal care and home health aides, who typically work in low-wage, non-benefitted positions.
“These are people who are on the new front lines of our health care system,” said David Cedrone, Associate Commissioner for Economic and Workforce Development. “We need to grow this workforce and provide them with educational pathways that allow them to acquire credentials that ‘stack’ to for-credit college courses, certificates, and degrees.”
Our Commonwealth’s higher education network, specifically community colleges, serve as integral partners in training the direct care workers," said Lisa Gurgone, Executive Director of the Home Care Aide Council. "The DHE plan offers a vision for ways to both strengthen the existing relationships between long term care providers and the higher education network and strategies for developing new partnerships and opportunities to support this essential workforce moving forward.”
From the Executive Summary:"This document represents the first step in an ongoing process to develop a comprehensive plan to address nursing and allied health workforce development. In fact, this first version of the plan focuses exclusively on the nursing workforce. We intend to prepare and release an addendum later in 2013 which will focus on the workforce challenges unique to select professions in allied health."