Essential Jobs, Essential Care

The Essential Jobs, Essential Care™ initiative in North Carolina is a multi-year partnership between the North Carolina Coalition on Aging and PHI, a national organization focused on strengthening the direct care workforce. The initiative aims to advance policy reforms for direct care workers as a critical step toward ensuring quality care for older adults and people with disabilities.

Throughout North Carolina—in private homes, nursing homes, and a variety of residential care settings—older adults and people with disabilities rely on almost 120,000 direct care workers  to meet their daily needs and participate in their communities. Further, when properly trained, supported, and integrated into care teams, these workers promote better care for consumers and prevent costly outcomes. Unfortunately, despite their enormous value, direct care workers struggle with low compensation, insufficient training, and limited career paths, which drive many workers
out of this sector. The COVID-19 crisis has amplified these challenges, leaving many workers without safe, high-quality jobs—and consumers without the care they deserve.

Now is the time to transform North Carolina’s direct care workforce.

Recorded Events

Introduction to the Advocacy Roadmap Webinar  (8/25/21)
Promoting Economic Stability for Direct Care Workers (9/10/21)  
• Karen McLeod, Benchmarks
• Jennifer Ashley, A Helping Hand
• Patricia Calloway, Generations Ashe
Exploring Innovation to Improve Direct Care Jobs (10/8/2021)
• Renee Batts, NC Caregivers
• Ted Goins, Jr., Lutheran Services Carolinas
• Clare Luz, IMPART Alliance, Michigan State University
• Adrienne Smith, New Mexico Caregivers Coalition
Data-Driven Solutions to Strengthen the Direct Care Workforce (11/18/2021)
 • Dr. Emma Sandoe, NC Division of Health Benefits
• Dr. Sandi Lane, Appalachian State University
• Stephen Campbell, PHI