WASHINGTON and ARLINGTON, Va., March 21, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In an effort to create quality jobs for women aged 50 and older, AARP Foundation and Capital Impact Partners are working together to launch a national effort to scale worker-owned, home care cooperatives. Worker cooperatives are businesses owned and governed by employees
With $200,000 in funding from AARP Foundation's Evidence-Based Solutions for Vulnerable Older Adults grant competition, this project focuses on supporting a demographic impacted by economic inequality and job insecurity who make up a vast majority of the home care work force – by advancing opportunities for competitive wages, quality training and career advancement opportunities through home care cooperatives.
"For many older adults food security, housing security and financial security can be at risk as we age," said AARP Foundation President Lisa Marsh Ryerson. "AARP Foundation is proud to work with organizations committed to helping older adults live their best lives by connecting them with trustworthy resources in their own communities."
Currently women workers represent 90% of the home care workforce and with growth in demand for home care, it is anticipated that home care workers over age 55 will encompass 27% of the workforce by 2022. Home care workers' wages declined 5% over the past decade and nearly 52% of all home care workers reside in households with incomes of less than 200% of the federal poverty line. As a result, sixty percent of the home care workforce turns over every year, disrupting the continuity of relationships essential to quality care.
"For too long, the home care industry has been characterized by low salaries, high turnover and older women workers. That is not only negatively effects these dedicated individuals, but also the patients they care for," said Candace Baldwin, Director of Aging in Community at Capital Impact Partners. "By scaling the worker cooperative model, which has proven to successfully reward employees across many fields, we can change this paradigm in a way that delivers social impact and makes good economic sense."
Existing worker-owned, home care cooperatives support stable work environments for home care workers through livable wages and benefits, flexible hours, training, safe work environments, and career advancement. In collaboration with the Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF), Capital Impact will leverage the knowledge and expertise of the cooperative industry to scale the worker-owned, home care cooperative model. Resources on home care cooperative development, membership, operations and replication are available on the CDF website, seniors.coop.
Through the CDF convened National Home Care Cooperative Workgroup, Capital Impact will draw upon lessons learned by early pioneers including Cooperative Home Care Associates in New York and Cooperative Care in Wisconsin.
"Home care is projected to be one of the fastest growing industries in the coming years. There's a lot to learn about operating and replicating home care cooperatives from the experiences of existing cooperatives. The workgroup is a way to share information and consider how this cooperative sector can efficiently and sustainably grow," said CDF Executive Director Leslie Mead.
Capital Impact has its roots in the cooperative movement and has long worked to promote and scale coops in its efforts to help ensure that low-to-moderate-income individuals have access to quality health care and education, healthy foods, affordable housing, and the ability to age with dignity, said Ellis Carr, president and CEO of Capital Impact. "This effort plays a deeper role with the launch of the organizations five-year strategy, a 2020 Vision for Communities, which focuses on equity, poverty, healthy communities, and inclusive growth."
Over its 30-year history, Capital Impact has disbursed more than $283 million in financing to more than 200 food, worker and housing cooperative businesses that serve more than 850,000 customers. In addition, the organization's Co-op Innovation Award makes financial investments those organizations that demonstrate leadership in bringing the cooperative model to scale and in creating social impact for low-income communities.
About AARP Foundation
AARP Foundation works to ensure that low-income older adults have nutritious food, affordable housing, a steady income and strong and sustaining bonds. We collaborate with individuals and organizations who share our commitment to innovation and our passion for problem solving. Supported by vigorous legal advocacy, we create and advance effective solutions that help struggling older adults transform their lives. AARP Foundation is the affiliated charity of AARP.
About Capital Impact Partners
Through capital and commitment Capital Impact Partners helps people build communities of opportunity that break barriers to success. We deliver strategic financing, incubate new social programs, and provide capacity-building to help ensure that low-to-moderate income individuals have access to quality healthcare and education, healthy foods, affordable housing, and the ability to age with dignity. A nonprofit community development financial institution, Capital Impact Partners has disbursed more than $2 billion to revitalize communities over the past 30 years. Our leadership in delivering financial and social impact has resulted in Capital Impact earning S&P 'AA' and Aeris Four Star-AAA-Policy Plus ratings. Headquartered in Arlington, Va., Capital Impact Partners operates nationally, with local offices in Detroit, Mich., and Oakland, Calif. Learn more at www.capitalimpact.org
SOURCE Capital Impact Partners