DHS Announces Launch of Caregiver Career Program

Shortly after Secretary Seemeyer announced to the WHCA/WiCAL Legislative Day participants, the DHS issued a press release detailing the launch of a Caregiver Career Program designed to add as many as 3,000 nurse aides to the Wisconsin workforce pool. WHCA/WiCAL has been providing input and monitoring the progress of this proposal, and while certainly it cannot alone solve the workforce crisis, it is a welcome initiative that will hopefully attract candidates to the field and enhance the caregiving profession.


With the approval received from CMS to allow for partial funding from the nursing home CMP fund, as recommended by the Wisconsin Quality Improvement Committee, the program has a robust $2.3 million budget.

The program targets individuals who may not have previously considered a career in caregiving, through education regarding opportunities as well as funding of training and testing costs to the individual. It is hoped that by providing information regarding caregiving opportunities and reducing entry barriers, the program will expand the pool of nurse aides in Wisconsin, at a time when 1 in 7 positions remain unfilled.

Nursing facilities will be afforded the opportunity to participate in this program. As facilities may be avoiding certain reimbursement expenses for training and testing, participating facilities will be expected to provide hired individuals from the program with a $500 bonus upon completion of six months of employment at the facility. Enrollment and participation information for facilities will be developed in the coming weeks.

Critical to the program is the component that will focus on the outreach through a marketing and recruitment campaign. It is hoped that this component will serve to both educate about the program, but to also enhance the image and employment opportunities in the long term care field. While the program focuses primarily on nursing homes, given the source of partial funding, WHCA/WiCAL hopes to see an indirect benefit to the assisted living provider community.

While there is certainly excitement regarding the announcement this week, results are neither guaranteed nor immediate. WHCA/WiCAL will be involved in the development of the marketing and recruitment program, as well as the development of the process for nursing facility involvement.

We will keep members updated as to developments and opportunities with this program over the coming weeks and months. Additional details can be found on the DHS press release, as well as the grant submission documentation.

For more details on the program, you can review the DHS grant application here.


Posted in DHS, Workforce