(Alexandria, Va.)—James Balda, Argentum president & CEO, announced an ambitious agenda today, at the 2019 Senior Living Executive Conference in San Antonio, Texas, to recruit, retain, and measure the senior living workforce.
A defined career path in the industry is critical, and Balda announced that Argentum will sponsor the first ever national apprenticeship for nursing assistants and caregivers in senior living. The apprenticeship will establish standards for on-the-job training and related instruction as caregivers grow their career with advanced skills in dementia care, safety, and other common needs across senior living providers. The pathway is being developed by an Apprenticeship Steering Group of Argentum members, including representatives from Brookdale, Commonwealth, Country Meadows, Life Care Services, Merrill Gardens, OnShift, Trilogy Health Services, and Vi.
“This initiative will pave the way for caregiver advancement in the industry,” said Balda. “We need to continue to reward high performers and retain dedicated talent, and apprenticeship programs are an opportunity as seen in other industries such as restaurants, hospitality, and multi-family housing.”
At the conference, Balda also noted the importance of workforce data in senior living, and announced the launch of a new service, the Workforce Insight Report, sponsored by OnShift. This customized report, available as an annual member benefit to Argentum’s Premier Members, highlights regional workforce statistics, year-over-year trends, and a specific focus on occupational wage rates for 383 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs)—members may choose up to 6 for their customized report. Argentum expects that providers will use the report for annual wage analyses, comparisons with senior living and other health care providers, and staffing plans for new or existing communities. It is especially designed to support human resources and operations decision-making.
The Workforce Insight Report is based on a resource known as Emsi, a hybrid dataset derived from official government sources capturing more than 99 percent of all workers in the United States. This core offering is then enriched with data from online social profiles, resumes, and job postings to give a complete view of the workforce. Due to a partnership with Emsi, Argentum members can access the Emsi tools and resources at a 10 percent discount.
Together, Argentum and the industry also celebrated the success of the Senior Living Works initiative, which launched one year ago at the 2018 Senior Living Executive Conference in San Diego. An Ambassador program was initiated along with Senior Living Works that to date, now has more than 550 representatives from across the senior living industry. Senior Living Works Ambassadors are proving their reach; they plan to hold 500 outreach events through June this year, reaching more than 13,500 students. The second phase of the Senior Living Works initiative launched at the end of 2018, providing an online academic pipeline resource to identify and connect with college programs directly related to senior living careers.
Building off of this momentum, Balda announced the next phase of Senior Living Works will drive beyond job boards and develop strong awareness among “career seekers” about opportunities in senior living.
“It’s up to all of us, collectively, to spread the word that working in senior living is more than just a job but rather an opportunity for a rewarding career offering growth, advancement, and even personal enrichment,” said Balda. “We need to continue to share the story of senior living—one that offers long-term careers in a growth industry focused on developing valued talent.”
Argentum is the leading national association exclusively dedicated to supporting companies operating professionally managed, resident-centered senior living communities and the older adults and families they serve. Argentum member companies operate senior living communities offering assisted living, independent living, continuing care, and memory care services to older adults and their families. Argentum’s work is driven by its membership. For more information about joining Argentum in its mission to raise the bar of excellence in senior living, please visit argentum.org/membership. Since 1990, Argentum has advocated for choice, independence, dignity, and quality of life for all older adults. Learn more at argentum.org.