September 03, 2020

Del Mar Encore Fellow Develops Win/Win Solution to Help Local Hospitality Workers Get Back to Work, Staff Home Healthcare Jobs

A Dayton Foundation Del Mar Encore Fellow has developed a new, innovative training program to help hospitality and retail workers, who have been laid off due to COVID-19, get back to work and fill the ever increasing need for skilled home healthcare aides. In partnership with the Area Agency on Aging, PSA 2, this program will offer free Certified Nurse Aide Training and a virtual job fair to Dayton-area displaced hospitality and retail workers, who are interested in working in home healthcare. Training begins this September.

According to the National Restaurant Association in April 2020, the “restaurant industry, more than any other industry in the nation, has suffered the most significant sales and job losses since the COVID-19 outbreak began.” Nationally, nearly two out of three restaurant employees had lost their jobs due to the challenges the COVID-19 outbreak had presented. Since then, while many restaurants have re-opened and hired back a portion of their staff, the number of employees of food and beverage businesses in the state of Ohio in July was still down 19% from February of this year.

Over the last year, Del Mar Encore Fellow and retired DoD and GE Aviation senior executive Kathy Stevens began an encore career using her years of research experience and strategy skills to assist the Dayton Area Agency on Aging PSA 2. Stevens was tasked with investigating the current long-term care workforce shortage issues for Personal Care Aides serving older adults in the Greater Dayton region and develop solutions to address. In her research, Stevens identified four primary issues related to the workforce shortages: recruitment and retention, training, economics and pay, and the need for innovative technology solutions.

Dr. Stevens notes that “While my engineering background may seem like a strange fit for this job, it has been a wonderful new challenge for me and has allowed me to use my people, organizational, and strategy skills to help the many older adults in our community, a population that we all are more or less rapidly approaching.”

As many nonprofits closed or restructured operations during the pandemic stay-at-home orders, Stevens continued to interact with Area Agency on Aging PSA 2 staff, Personal Care Aides and provider agencies. Regularly hearing about the new challenges the restaurant industry was facing, Stevens realized that while jobs in the hospitality and retail industries were on hold, the need continued for more Personal Care Aides to serve older adults in home- and community-based programs. “Regularly hearing about the challenges staffing services for frail older adults needed for them to stay in their homes, while hearing from the news how the restaurant and retail industries were having to lay off workers, it just seemed natural to want to help, to create a win-win program to link these great workers with these needed jobs. A win-win idea took shape to train displaced workers for home healthcare jobs that also would assist this industry and our region’s most vulnerable population.

“This idea underscores what the Del Mar Encore Fellows Initiative of The Dayton Foundation does so well: bring highly skilled older adults back to the table to help solve community problems,’ said Barbra Stonerock, vice president for Community Engagement at The Dayton Foundation. “Kathy Stevens brought new eyes, experience and out-of-the-box thinking to help address a critical shortage of home care workers. As a community, we need to keep finding ways to engage older adults as problem solvers.”

In July, the Area Agency on Aging, PSA 2 received $85,534 from the Ohio Department of Aging and the Administration for Community Living’s Critical Relief for COVID-19 Pandemic Response Fund for this program.

According to Doug McGarry, the Executive Director of the Area Agency on Aging, PSA 2, “This initiative is an enormous opportunity for individuals to apply the skills they have developed in the restaurant and hospitality industry into the growing field of home care. The opportunity to help others, while making money in a flexible working environment of the home are the rewards of the training.”

Program participants will receive four weeks of Certified Nurse Aide training, then partake in a virtual job fair, and ultimately be matched with home health care programs, thus beginning their new career.

To register for training or for more information about the program, visit https://info4seniors.org/free-training-available-to-help-pandemic-impacted-restaurant-and-retail-workers/ or contact Kathy Stevens at kstevens@info4seniors.org or (937)-341-3099.


About the Del Mar Encore Fellows Initiative

Since 2016, the Del Mar Encore Fellows Initiative has been working with nonprofits in the Dayton Region to address significant, emerging issues. Highly skilled older adults, the Fellows, are placed with Host Organizations that recognize the value of experienced workers and have applied to The Dayton Foundation to bring a Fellow into their leadership team to solve a critical community concern. The Fellows also work together to help change the conversation about aging, making presentations to civic and educational organizations about the Del Mar Initiative and the valuable resource represented by older adults in our community.

About The Dayton Foundation

The Dayton Foundation is the regional community foundation for Greater Dayton. Since its establishment in 1921, the Foundation has helped people to help others, managing more than 3,900 charitable funds that have provided more than $970 million in grants to nonprofits locally and nationwide. More information about The Dayton Foundation is available at Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

About Area Agency on Aging, PSA 2

The Area Agency on Aging, PSA 2 helps older and disabled adults of west central Ohio remain in their homes with independence and dignity. An independent, private, nonprofit corporation, the agency plans and funds services for older persons in Champaign, Clark, Darke, Greene, Logan, Miami, Montgomery, Preble, and Shelby Counties. It is one of twelve Area Agencies on Aging in Ohio and part of a national aging service network. More information about the Area Agency on Aging, PSA 2 is available at https://info4seniors.org/.

Learn more about the Del Mar Encore Fellows Initiative.

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File date: 09.10.20

IN HER WORDS

Kathy Stevens

“While my engineering background may seem like a strange fit for this job, it has been a wonderful new challenge for me and has allowed me to use my people, organizational, and strategy skills to help the many older adults in our community, a population that we all are more or less rapidly approaching.”
Kathy Stevens, Del Mar Encore Fellow and retired DoD and GE Aviation senior executive

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