State Senator Howard Marklein and State Representative Ed Brooks took time to meet with Executive Director of Schmitt Woodland Hills Jackie Carley and Administrator of Pine Valley Community Village Kathy Cianci to learn about the workforce crisis that is affecting long term care across the state. Other staff attended the meeting to explain that there are over 11,000 caregiver vacancies across Wisconsin mainly due to wage competition with unskilled jobs. Concern is mounting because the number of long term care and residential residents is projected to increase by 26.4% in the next six years. Caregivers are either leaving long term care for employment in unskilled jobs that often pay as well or better, or not seeking employment in the long term care field. Better reimbursement to long term and residential care facilities is needed to attract workers to the field.
Candidate for the 50th Assembly District Tom Crofton met with Kathy Cianci, Jackie Carley, Sharyn Knudson and Joanne Amell (both of Schmitt Woodland Hills) and Angie Alexander of Pine Valley Community Village several days later to discuss the same issue.