On Sept. 21 CLM Executive Director Tammy Mello along with the Collaborative of trade associations testified at a hearing held by the House and Senate Ways and Means Committees and the House Committee on Federal Stimulus and Census Oversight. This hearing focused on health care, public health and human services, and is part of a series of sessions focused on how to spend billions of dollars in American Rescue Plan Act funds coming into Massachusetts to provide relief and support specific to the COVID-19 pandemic and our recovery.
We are keenly aware that our sector is not the only one experiencing a workforce shortage, the consequence of not investing in the human service sector will have a devastating impact for some of the most vulnerable children and families in the Commonwealth. Our testimony presented a three-pronged plan to support and stimulate the human services workforce, including:
- $174 million per year over five years for funding to support recruitment/retention initiatives in the human services workforce
- $27 million over five years for a student loan repayment program; and
- $250,000 for a marketing campaign designed to attract individuals to jobs in the human services sector.
CLM and our partners stressed the in-person, front-line services that these workers have been providing throughout the pandemic, to the most vulnerable populations in our community.
“…while many industries and businesses were able to transition to a work from home or telehealth environment during the pandemic, the human services sector has instead been delivering essential and largely in-person care. Our providers, on-site and in homes, provide care to individuals with disabilities and individuals in group homes, make home visits to check on a family’s wellness or provide early intervention services to a toddler, and provide needed support to elderly residents. These services prevent downstream utilization of healthcare in expensive settings like acute care hospitals and emergency departments. Many of our workers have continued to serve clients on behalf of the Commonwealth in-person through multiple waves of the pandemic – including today, as the state is battling the Delta variant of the Coronavirus.”
Following the testimony provided by Tammy Mello and our trade association partners, we saw strong coverage in the media on this particular pandemic issue, including this article in the Boston Sunday Globe.
We are asking all CLM members to contact your local legislators and ask them to express their support for these three items to the chairs of the Joint Committee on Ways & Means.