The Arc’s Center of Hope Foundation hosted a “Conversation with our Legislators” at the Southbridge Hotel and Conference Center that offered a unique opportunity for more than 40 persons served and caregivers to meet with four area legislators and two legislative aides.
On hand were Senator Anne Gobi and Representatives Todd Smola, Joseph McKenna, and Peter Durant. The Center of Hope’s Cindy Howard welcomed all participants and presented a Powerpoint on the Workforce bill (HD 1130), which addresses the growing workforce shortage crisis in Massachusetts for Direct Support Professionals (DSP) and all human service workers. This crisis affects in-home workers for families and individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), along with the entire human services system of care in the Commonwealth.
Solutions to the workforce crisis are critical to ensure that people with I/DD, including autism, can live, work, and contribute in their communities. Often because of lower wages, current staff may be working a second or third job, and furthermore, may leave positions because of the low salary scale.
All legislators who participated in this conversation have signed on to co-sponsor HD 1130.