Mark Burns, Executive Director of Homebridge: Innovative Retention Strategies in Home Care

Most home care workers are women of color working more than one job, struggling to afford childcare, and doing difficult work without any prospects for advancement. It’s no wonder, then, that it’s hard to find and retain workers for these critically needed positions. Making matters worse is a competitive job market for entry level workers which means people can find less taxing positions for the same pay. That’s why today’s WorkforceRx guest, Mark Burns, is so pleased to be involved in California’s new $200 million Career Pathways program which is designed to increase wages, skill levels and career mobility for this workforce. As Executive Director of the San Francisco-based Homebridge home care agency and a key leader in the Career Pathways initiative, Burns is hoping to reach up to 250,000 Californians with paid training classes across the state. “Having any training available is fairly rare for this population, but having paid training is almost unheard of, so we’re thrilled,” he tells Van Ton-Quinlivan, CEO of Futuro Health, which is contributing asynchronous training options to the effort. On a parallel track to Career Pathways, Burns is busy transitioning Homebridge to an employment model that offers progressive wage increases as workers gain skills, with an eye on professionalizing the occupation. “People know innately that they’re adding a great deal of value that is of a professional scale that helps with people’s wellness and helps them stay stable in the community, but there’s no system of validation for that.” Don’t miss this chance for a detailed look at leading edge innovations in home care workforce development that could stabilize and improve access to care for some of the most vulnerable members of our communities.

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