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What you need to know: Partner Events

New Lowell Community Partnership Links Refugees with Home Care Aide Training and Jobs

Tuesday, January 31, 2017  
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The Executive Office of Elder Affairs, in partnership with the Home Care Aide Council, Community Teamworks, International Institute Lowell, Middlesex Community College, Office for Refugees and Immigrants, Lowell Career Center, Lowell WIB, and UMASS Commonwealth Medicine hosted Job Fair 2.0 in Lowell on Thursday, January 26. The job fair was the culmination of a four-week course for newly arrived refugees and other students who are interested in a career in home care. Over twenty job-seekers attended the job fair to meet with home care agencies serving clients in the Greater Lowell area including Associated Home Care, Intercity Home Care, Multicultural Home Care, and Right at Home – Boston Northwest. 

The program was designed to help create long term career pathways for refugees and chronically unemployed individuals through community partnerships. Present to greet the students at the event was Alice Bonner, Secretary of Elder Affairs, Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This is “the start of an industry led partnership” remarked Secretary Bonner. A student, Rose, also spoke to the group that had gathered for the Job Fair. Rose is a refugee from the Republic of the Congo who has spent the last 11 years in a refugee camp. She arrived in the United States 4 months ago and has already completed the home health aide training class. As she told the audience, “I am ready to do this job!”

 “Given the state of the home care aide workforce, innovative partnerships to provide support and training to the potential and current aides are going to be a necessity in the coming years”, explained Lisa Gurgone, Executive Director of the Home Care Aide Council.  “Massachusetts’ older adult population is increasingly aging within the community, remaining in their homes. The services and supports that they require will be provided primarily by home care aides, who, in response to more elders aging in place while living longer with greater chronic conditions, are exploding in demand.”