Since 2022, the Essential Jobs Essential Care New Jersey Coalition has been working to transform direct care jobs in the state. We are 60+ organizations and individuals across New Jersey advocating for policy changes that support and grow the Direct Care Workforce (DCW) including home health aides, personal care aides, nurse aides, and direct support professionals. We believe that lifting up direct care roles is critical to meeting New Jerseyans’ eldercare and disability needs.
What’s the problem?
Throughout New Jersey—in private homes, nursing homes, and a variety of residential care settings—older adults and people with disabilities rely on more than 123,000 direct care workers to meet their daily needs and live healthy and fulfilling lives. Unfortunately, despite their enormous value, direct care workers struggle with low compensation, insufficient training, and limited career paths, which drive many workers out of this sector. Every day New Jerseyans are going without the care they need and workers are going without the high-quality employment they deserve.
The shortage of direct care workers in our state is becoming more dire at the same time our population is aging. To meet current needs and prepare for the future, the time to act is now.
What are our priorities?
The EJEC NJ Coalition has identified three priorities:
- Increase access to training for direct care workers
- Increase the pipeline of new direct care workers
- Centralize credentialing and licensure of CHHAs and CNAs under one state agency.
How can you help?
We welcome all individuals and organizations interested in addressing the direct care workforce shortage in New Jersey.
Current coalition members are listed here
- Learn more about the workforce, challenges, proposals and examples from other states - see below.
- Reach out to us with your input and questions:
Cathy Rowe [email protected] / 609-421-0206
Jake McDonald [email protected] / 718-928-2061