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Online Tool Provides Career Guidance for Direct-Care Workers

January 30, 2013

New Hampshire direct-care workers — whether they are experienced veterans or just entering the field — can obtain career guidance from the Direct Care Career Guide, a free, interactive online tool launched earlier this month by the University of New Hampshire‘s Center on Aging and Community Living (CACL).

Users are given recommendations for the career path best suited for them based upon their personal preferences in workplace structure, the amount of job training required, and the population they’d like to care for.

For example, users who lack formal training and would like to care for people with chronic illnesses in a less-structured working environment are steered toward pursuing jobs as either a “consumer-directed worker” or a “home health care provider.”

The Direct Care Career Guide was developed through CACL’s DirectConnect program, a three-year grant funded by the U.S. Department of Labor.

“Ensuring that direct-care workers are matched with the jobs best suited for them is critical in ensuring high retention rates,” said Jennifer Rabalais, DirectConnect project director. “With the rising demand for direct-care services in New Hampshire, the need for good workers in good jobs has never been greater.”

New Hampshire’s direct-care workforce, which comprised 15,000 workers in 2011, will need to grow by 33 percent by 2018 to meet the rising demand for their services, according to data available at the PHI State Data Center.

Resources from DirectConnect also helped fund PHI’s training intervention at Monadnock Developmental Services, an area agency in Keene, New Hampshire.

— by Matthew Ozga

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