The Latino Factor

Latinos are the fastest growing worker cohort, but like all workers, they need more education and training. So do seniors housing workers, if we want to keep them.

I read an interesting article from the Wall Street Journal over Labor Day Weekend titled “The ‘Latino Factor’ Will Save America’s Economy.” The gist of it was that the Latino population in the U.S. is the fastest growing cohort in the labor market and will play an increasingly important role in the economy as the baby boomers age.  

Seniors housing providers would probably agree, as many Latinos are care providers in their communities, and they would like to hire more of them. But the article argued that what is needed is investment in education and training for the next generation of American workers, Latinos included.

Training and investment is exactly what the seniors housing and care industry needs as well. But the funding of that should be tied to length of employment. There seem to be three reasons for high employee turnover: low pay, it is hard work, and there is not much room for advancement. But with training, you solve at least two of those issues.

With our borders closed like never before, we need a labor force that is not constantly looking for new job opportunities. But the commitment has to be both ways. The only way to get out of the “hamburger flipper” syndrome is to make workers believe that taking care of our elderly is something better, more personal, with opportunity to move up the ranks and to learn. We have to fix the labor problem soon, and it will not be just about an extra dollar or two an hour, but that certainly helps too.   



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