Aquilina Versoza, Pilipino Workers Center of Southern California: Could Worker Co-ops Transform the In-Home Care Workforce?

Our exploration of solutions for growing and strengthening the direct care workforce continues on this episode of WorkforceRx with a close look at a potentially transformative employee-owned cooperative model that’s gaining traction in California. In the eyes of our guest, Aquilina Soriano Versoza, the higher pay and better working conditions that co-ops can provide will help grow an urgently needed workforce and address current injustices that prevail in the “wild west” of private home care. “Very typically, Filipino immigrant caregivers are receiving $5 or less per hour with no overtime, no job security, and no benefits. Some are earning just above $2 an hour,” she explains to Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan. As executive director of the Pilipino Workers Center of Southern California, Versoza has helped pioneer a co-op model that, in addition to higher wages, offers on-the-job skills training, education in operating a co-op business, and the opportunity to work in teams. There are several co-ops up and running now, and a franchise approach is being put in place to increase scale. “In five years, we have the vision that every metropolis in California will have a cooperative option, both for workers as well as individuals who want to access long term care through a cooperative.” Spend some time with this thoughtful national leader who sees the crisis in home care as an opportunity to improve the quality of life for both the seniors receiving care and the workers providing it.

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