NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn Visits PHI and CHCA
New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn and Council Health Committee Chair Maria del Carmen Arroyo visited PHI’s new Bronx location on October 1 to tour the state-of-the-art training space operated by PHI’s affiliate Cooperative Home Care Associates (CHCA).
With funding from the City Council, PHI and CHCA will provide free, four-week adult learner-centered training to an additional 200 home health aide trainees this year. The Council’s $90,000 award to PHI will support the addition of an RN-certified instructor to the program. Together, PHI and CHCA now have the capacity to train 600 individuals for quality home care jobs each year.
“I’m proud to support the innovative work of the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute and help create a pathway to quality jobs for workers who have been hit the hardest by the economic downturn,” said Speaker Quinn, who talked with trainees while they practiced skin care and dressing change techniques in the building’s new laboratory space.
“In this downturn, the home care sector offers rare opportunities for employment in the Bronx,” said PHI President Jodi M. Sturgeon, who led the tour with CHCA President Michael Elsas.
“Home health aide jobs help city residents — particularly women of color and immigrants — to better their lives and the lives of their families. But that can only be true if we ensure that these jobs are high in quality, offering extensive training, supports and competitive compensation. We look forward to partnering with the New York City Council on that vision through this exciting effort,” Sturgeon said.
The City Council’s plan to expand PHI’s training program was announced in partnership with the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) District 1199 in late 2011. Also attending the event were Angie Kamath, Deputy Commissioner of Workforce Development at SBS, and Helen Schaub, Vice President of SEIU 1199.
Visitors from the City Council also met with Christina Taylor, home health aide and member of CHCA’s Board of Directors, and Ancil Alexander, home health aide and peer mentor at CHCA, to learn about their experiences as members of a worker-owned cooperative home care agency.
During the tour, the Speaker announced that the City Council will be organizing a home care summit in 2013 to review the employment opportunities that this sector offers to New York City residents.
“One in every seven low-income workers in New York City works in the home care sector,” Quinn said. “And with state and federal health care reforms creating expanded job opportunities for people of all educational backgrounds, we must do our part to make sure New Yorkers receive the training they need for quality job creation and retention.”
– by Angelina Del Rio Drake, PHI Development Writer