Workforce Development

Elderly man getting help walking from nurse

The Center for Excellence in Aging & Longevity (CEAL) is at the forefront of transformative initiatives, dedicated to addressing the critical need for workforce development. With a commitment to collaboration, we unite policymakers, service providers, and community-based organizations to pioneer innovative solutions aimed at increasing and retaining the invaluable direct care workforce.

The Problem

PHI, the nation’s leading expert on the direct care workforce, provides an annual snapshot including demographics, job quality challenges, and projected job openings.

About 4.7 million direct care workers support older adults and individuals with disabilities. The direct care workforce is projected to add 1.2 million jobs in the next 10 years, more new jobs than any other single occupation.  During the same timeframe, nearly 9.3 million total direct care jobs will need to be filled.

In California, there is a predicted shortage of 600,000 to 3.2 million workers by 2030.

Our Solution

CEAL is committed to forging workforce partnerships and pioneering innovative training programs. By collaborating with key stakeholders and developing cutting-edge initiatives, we are tackling this challenge head-on to provide exceptional care for older adults and individuals living with disabilities.

Workforce Partnerships

Due to demographic shifts and evolving healthcare needs, CEAL has prioritized innovative solutions for workforce partnerships. Working collaboratively with educators, healthcare providers, policy makers, and community-based organizations is essential to increasing and retaining the direct care workforce.

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San Diego Caregiver Connections

In May 2023, CEAL launched the San Diego Caregiver Connections (SDCC) initiative, a comprehensive program dedicated to enhancing the lives of caregivers. Our goal is to empower both paid and family caregivers through a range of support services, including free training, peer support, and career pathways.

Our innovative model is driven by a commitment to inclusivity, reaching out to diverse, low-income, multilingual, and under-resourced communities. We recognize many caregivers face significant obstacles, such as limited access to training resources, language options, technology, and educational opportunities.

SDCC addresses these challenges and strengthens the workforce pipeline by providing:

Free Training: More than 85 hours of CalGrows and Caring4Cal approved training courses designed to empower caregivers by improving knowledge, confidence, and self-care strategies.
Peer Support Program: A strong network of peers with shared experience who can provide emotional support, advice, empowerment, problem-solving skills, and resources.
Carer Pathways: Support for family caregivers interested in becoming an IHSS worker, home health aide, certified nursing assistant, or similar roles in the health care field. 

Key highlights of the SDCC program include:

– A fully translated Spanish platform with more than 30 hours of training including person-centered care, emergency preparedness, and managing stress.
– Selff-Paced, online training with subtitles in Spanish, Farsi, Vietnamese, Russian, and Korean.
– 35 hours of Teepa Snow Dementia Care training courses.
– 15-hour training track specifically designed to provide support and professional development for Direct Support Professionals who work with adults with intellectual and/or development disabilities.
– Developed an Issue Brief on the Power of Peer Support for Older Adults and Their Caregivers.
– Collaboration with community partners including Determined Health, Glenner Alzheimer’s Family Centers, Stepping Higher, County of San Diego IHSS Public Authority, and Grossmont Healthcare District.

Our Impact

Since its inception, our initiatives have made a profound impact, with over 1,200 participants benefitting from our programs. These individuals have completed over 10,000 hours of training, equipping themselves with invaluable skills and knowledge. Notably, our programs have fostered diversity and inclusion, with 86% of participants identifying as people of color and 25% being multilingual.

San Diego CareGiver Connections