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Senior Living Programs Aim to Attract New Generation of Workers

March 31, 2017 | James Balda

senior-living-partner-program-attract-younger-workers.jpg1.2 million new employees will need to be recruited by 2025 to care for the country’s growing aging population—that’s according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In acknowledgment of this critical workforce issue, many senior living providers are establishing and supporting relationships with local schools and institutions of higher education in order to educate and attract younger generations of workers.

Wichita, Kansas-based Legend Senior Living, for instance, recently awarded fellowships to three Wichita State University students. The Legend Fellows Program allows students from WSU’s College of Health Professions to work on projects that address various senior living industry challenges such as strategies to prevent falls, reducing hospital admissions and helping those working in the industry avoid burnout. Providing solutions to these challenges will require not only strategy, but also a highly skilled future workforce for implementation.

Senior Living Communities, LLC, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, has established a program attempting to reach students at high school and even middle school levels. Their Explore program, an expansion of their Elevate and Evolve programs, aims to expose students to the diversity of career potential in the senior living industry. The first program was piloted in 2012, tackling Phase 1 of the initiative. Phase 2 involves working with middle schools—Generation Z, whose interests and priorities may differ greatly from generations before them. 

Click here to learn how Senior Living Communities reduced turnover by almost 16% using better scheduling practices.

Last fall, Argentum produced a report with the assistance of national polling firm ORC International and sponsored by OnShift, detailing public perceptions of careers in senior living. Of those surveyed, only 22% of millennials said they’d consider a career in senior living. Millennials most often cited insufficient pay and overall impression of the industry as a reason for lack of interest in pursuing senior living careers. In order to recruit and retain younger generations of workers, the industry must recognize their priorities and work to educate them about the industry. It is critical that we continue to effectively communicate the benefits of working in senior living.

At this year’s Argentum Senior Living Executive Conference, workforce and industry experts will address many pressing topics including building tomorrow’s workforce and attracting millennials in the Workforce Development Track, sponsored by OnShift. In this track, you’ll learn how to use technology and social media in recruitment and explore other ways to retain and engage a millennial workforce in senior living. You’ll also discuss how to communicate benefits offered by the industry, such as stability and mission-driven careers.

Learn more about what’s on the #Argentum17 agenda at argentum.org/conference.

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About James Balda

James Balda is a guest author for OnShift’s blog and the President and CEO of Argentum, the largest national association exclusively dedicated to senior living communities and the seniors and families they serve.

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