Within a few years, one million Minnesotans will be 65 or older as 60,000 residents continue to turn 65 this year and every year through at least 2030. As our senior population grows in the years ahead, Minnesota will need an additional 25,000 caregivers over the next decade.
As Minnesota and the nation takes on the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis, we are fortunate to have a deeply committed workforce of professional caregivers to provide daily support for our most vulnerable seniors. But we need more caregivers to take on today’s challenges.
Job vacancy rates for these skilled workers, including nurses and nursing assistants, are soaring. In fact, some senior centers across Minnesota have had to turn away potential new residents because they didn’t have enough staff.
To fill this critical gap in senior care, Minnesota needs a workforce development and retention plan that supports caregivers and attracts future workers to pursue a career in caregiving. The State of Minnesota can play a crucial role in developing a vibrant caregiving workforce by helping providers:
- Offer competitive salaries and benefits to attract new workers and create career pathways in caregiving.
- Expand the pipeline of workers through scholarships, loan forgiveness programs and other support.
- Strengthen relationships among high schools, higher education, dislocated worker programs and other workforce groups to expose people to the rewarding profession of caregiving.
Learn more about the career opportunities and growing demands for professional senior caregivers on page 7: Understanding Senior Care in Minnesota