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State training, federal grant combine to help meet need for home health care workers

Release Date: October 7, 2010
Contact: Jim Jones, (919) 733-9190

RALEIGH – Gov. Bev Perdue announced today that North Carolina will receive a $578,745 federal grant to develop and test a curriculum to train qualified personal and home care aides. The state stands to gain an additional $1.4 million over the following two years.

“As North Carolina’s population grays, our need for qualified caregivers is growing,” Gov. Perdue said. “DHHS will use this federal money to strengthen our personal and home health care workforce. It’s all a part of ensuring healthier communities in North Carolina.”

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that from 2006 to 2016 North Carolina will need to increase its pool of personal and home care workers by 48,530 additional workers, an increase of 43 percent over the 10-year period. Of the number needed, nearly 42,000 are projected to fall into the Bureau of Labor Statistics category that represents personal and home care aides and home health aides.

The Department of Health and Human Services, along with the N.C. Foundation for Advanced Health Programs and a broad-based partner team will develop, pilot and implement a four-phase training and competency program that focuses mainly on direct care workers in home and residential care settings. The phases range from teaching job readiness and communication skills to adding a new nurse aide job category related to home care. The first year budget period runs through Sept. 30, 2011.

The competency-based curriculum is 100 percent funded by a grant from the Affordable Care Act and Personal and Home Care Aide State Training Program. North Carolina is one of six states selected for the funding. The funding for each subsequent year is contingent upon availability of the funds and satisfactory progress in grant activities.