MAY 2021
Maryland Regional Direct Services Collaborative Monthly Newsletter
Steve Jurch is highlighted in this month for his continuing contribution in furthering the mission of the Collaborative. He serves as the co-lead on the Collaborative’s “Training and Education Task Force”. Steve has an extensive background in healthcare and has been involved in education for over 20 years ranging from the classroom to administration. He currently serves as the Assistant Dean for Health and Business Services at the Community College of Baltimore County in the workforce division. Steve has extensive experience designing and implementing comprehensive workforce programming that incorporates wrap around supports, academic enhancements, technical training and employment services. Integral to his involvement with several sector partnerships, he serves on the Board of the Baltimore for Careers in Healthcare. 

The Collaborative issues its Newsletter each month reporting on the organization’s operations and progress in addressing the core development and training issues affecting the frontline direct services workforce throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia. The newsletter is distributed to members of the Collaborative and to its many stakeholder organizations that have expressed interest in being kept informed and involved.
SB307 – Direct Care Workforce Innovation Program – Awaiting Governor’s Signature

The House of Delegates and Maryland Senate passed the Direct Care Workforce Innovation Program - SB307. The bill introduced by Senator Guy Guzzone will provide $50,000 matching grants to eligible entities for the purpose to...”create and expand on successful recruitment and retention strategies that address the range of potential barriers to increasing the number of direct care workers. The bill calls for the governor is to include $250,000 in the state’s annual budget beginning in 2021. When signed into law, the program will be administered by the Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning within the Maryland Department of Labor.

SB384 – Guidance and Reporting for Residential Services Agencies

Both Houses of the Maryland General Assembly passed SB384 – “Residential Services – Guidance and Reporting“ this legislative session and is enroute to the Governor for signature. The purpose of the bill is to address the issue affecting many of Maryland’s 30,000 personal care aides-; the misclassification of these workers as independent contractors. As a result of the misclassification, workers are not protected by the social safety net. 

The legislation has two parts. First, it calls for the creation of a short guidance document explaining how misclassification applies to personal care aides and requires that the document be distribute to Maryland residential services agencies. Secondly, it expands the current reporting system. The changes are expected to result in modest but important changes beneficial to the thousands of personal care aides.

Showcasing MDOL’s EARN Supported Frontline Workforce Initiatives

The Collaborative continues its series of webinars to highlight the work, issues and opportunities of the direct services workforce. Its fifth webinar was convened on April 29. This sixth  session showcased the innovative training and career development initiatives supported by the Maryland Department of Labor’s EARN program. A remarkable faculty was convened and facilitated by Mary Keller, Special Grants Administrator for DOL’s Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning. She was joined by Jessica Neely, Director of Knowledge Management – SEEC; Sherida Morrison, Director of Workforce at Pressley Ridge, and Shountee Turner, Manager for Development and Communication with the BACH organization. 

A keynote address was presented as an introduction to the session by Barbara Selter, Chair of the Montgomery County Commission on Aging. Her message underscored importance placed by the Commission’s priority of assuring the availability of a well trained frontline workforce.

The recorded session of webinar can be accessed via the Collaborative’s website.  

Advancing the “Schools of Aging Services Demonstration”

Follow-up steps continue to be taken that advance the proposed “Schools of Aging Services Demonstration” with community colleges in Maryland and the District of Columbia. Recent meetings have been held with senior faculty and management staff at two of the six schools that have expressed interest in the program, especially Frederick Community College and the Community College of Baltimore County. Both schools are recommending a formative developmental approach that builds on current programs, works in close coordination with the other interested schools and taking steps that advance career pathway opportunities by promoting new internships and apprenticeships. One of the key outcomes is to establish a higher level of attention across all curricula to the impact and implications of the increased numbers and percentages of the older adult populations.   

Collaborative’s Expands Its Network of Stakeholders
As the Collaborative advances its work to close the shortfall in the availability of frontline workforce, it furthered strengthened the network and elevated attention to its mission this month by joining hands with new partners and stakeholders:

·      Pioneer Network whose mission is to “change the culture of aging in the 21st century” The Network serves as the national leader of the culture change movement, helping care providers transition away from a medical and institutional model of elder care to one that is life affirming, satisfying, humane and meaningful. 
·      National Association of Health Care Assistants as the advocacy organization that supports the  CNA workforce. It views CNAs as the core body of service support within all long-term organizations. 
·      National Certification Council for Activity Professionals offers what it describes as the “Modular Education Program for Activity Professionals”. The program encompassing a combination of classroom learning and practicum experience. 

Montgomery County Maryland’s Age Friendly Home and Community Based Services Roundtable

The Collaborative joined hands with the Montgomery County Commission on Aging to support the County’s “Home and Community Based Services Workgroup Roundtable”. Organized and facilitated by Lylie Fisher, Program Manager in the County’s Health and Human Service Agency, the Roundtable’s “First Session” was framed to “identify regional challenges, issues and actions underway and planned to enhance the cost, quality and availability of frontline direct services. The session is the first of three that will take place over the next several months. Barbara Selter, Chair of the Montgomery County’s Commission on Aging moderated the session attended by a cross section of key individuals representing county government, public schools, business and stakeholder organizations.
2021 Fundraising Drive
In order to achieve the Collaborative’s mission of assuring the availability of a trained direct services workforce through Maryland and D.C., everyone’s help is needed. This newsletter reports on the range of important initiatives that have been accomplished, planned or underway. This critically important work addresses the issues confronting the workforce. As the work continues, the Collaborative is reliant on help from others.

Membership information can be found on the Rodham Institute/Collaborative’s website at:
The Maryland Regional Direct Services Collaborative is a network of organizations and individuals working together to build and sustain a well-trained direct services workforce in the Maryland region. It prioritizes the principles of diversity, advances knowledge that draws upon current and previous training and development initiatives. The Collaborative seeks to pro-actively address the critical issues impeding the availability of the needed support services for older adults and persons with disabilities through policy reform, advocating systems change, and providing leadership in the design and implementation of new program initiatives.
Maryland Regional Direct Services Collaborative
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