Leadership Training Program Empowers, Educates Arizona Direct Care Workers
TUCSON, Ariz., Nov. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Direct care workers honed their leadership and advocacy skills November 14-16 at the Arizona Voices Institute 2012, a state-level version of an intensive, interactive national training program. The training covered personal and professional development, with attendees learning how to make their voices heard as they advocate for their profession.
The event was co-hosted by the Direct Care Alliance (DCA) and the Arizona Direct Care Worker Association (ADCWA). "The direct care workers were energized to share their stories," said ADCWA board member Timothy K. Doe. "They talked about how much they enjoy caring for others because of the spiritual rewards they receive. They want to keep doing this work, but it's hard to make a career of something if it pays less than $10 an hour, if you can't afford health insurance, if you work long hours and don't get overtime pay."
State Senator Paula Aboud educated the group about the electoral process. "The empowerment was powerful," she said. "Their lives and their jobs need to improve, and they've got a better grip now on the kinds of things they can do through the electoral process. If they want pay increases, if they want laws changed, if they want their state to be different, they have to participate in the process, and I think that they will. Educating people on how to be part of the process will do nothing but improve our society."
Direct care is one of the fastest growing sectors in the state's economy, with more than 67,000 jobs projected in Arizona by 2018. "These jobs are vital to the state's and the nation's economic recovery, and we believe that there's no better way to improve them than to make sure that direct care workers have a voice," said DCA National Field Director Brenda Nachtway. "It is inspiring to see these workers get so empowered. They are determined to make the changes they want to see."
The Direct Care Alliance is the national advocacy voice of direct care workers in long-term care. DCA empowers workers to speak out for better wages, benefits and training, so more people can commit to direct care as a career.
The Arizona Direct Care Worker Association is a statewide, not-for-profit advocacy organization that provides its members with educational and leadership opportunities and connects them to community resources.
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SOURCE Direct Care Alliance, Inc.