Through industry leading strategic planning, market research, business consulting, financial planning, business conversions and more, the ICA Group is working to transform the home care sector through worker-ownership, ensuring that quality jobs for workers lead to higher quality care for clients. ICA was instrumental in founding Cooperative Home Care Associates, the country’s largest worker cooperative, and today works with the majority of operational home care cooperatives in the U.S, supporting over 2,600 dignified home care jobs. While anchored in home care, ICA’s work spans the long term care spectrum including nursing home care and assisted living.
Three of the fastest growing occupational sectors in the US economy are concentrated in the long term care industry. Yet these critical jobs, filled primarily by women and people of color, suffer low wages, dangerous working conditions, and generally provide very little input for the direct care workers. We work with innovative groups that use a workforce redesign strategy to both raise industry standards and create opportunities for career growth.
A New Solution
With over 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day, and an overwhelming desire for seniors to age at home, demand for home care services is growing at an unprecedented rate. There are over 2.1 million home care workers in the U.S today, and millions of new workers will need to be added to meet growing demand in the coming years. With a median wage of only $11.03 per hour, minimal benefits, inconsistent hours, limited training and supports, and few opportunities for professional growth, new caregivers are not flocking to the industry, and those currently in the caregiving profession are struggling to remain.
Worker-owned cooperatives offer a new model. As worker-centered businesses, cooperatives prioritize improved working conditions including better training and job supports, higher wages and benefits, and full and stable employment, resulting in increased worker satisfaction, higher quality care, and decreased employee turnover.
“From the beginning, we set out to be a ‘different’ type of home care company. The type of company that valued the home care worker and understood that to deliver quality care we needed to create quality jobs for our workforce. More than 30 years later, our investment in our workforce continues to fuel our field-leading outcomes and has made CHCA the largest worker-owned cooperative in the county.”