Survey Questions and Candidate Responses

How do you plan to address the growing long-term care workforce crisis in the state?

Nick Gauthier | Participating Election
Reduce educational costs to enter care jobs through statewide tuition-free public colleges and universities and increase pay and improve benefits while strengthening collective bargaining and union organizing rights of workers.
Tammy Nuccio | Participating Election
In the Children's Mental Health bill we worked to include workforce development and incentives to retain and draw behavioral health professionals to the state. I am continuing to work with the Governors workforce development council to find ways to retain and incentivize healthcare workers to the state - including long-term care workers. With that in mind, we have to recognize that Connecticut is one of the most expensive states to live in, that is a deterrent to new young professionals. If we cannot contain the costs of living in the state we won't be able to revitalize our workforce.
Laura A. Fucci | Participating Election
In order to address the growing long-term care workforce crisis, we must provide livable wages, hours and benefits for the workers to attract and retain dedicated workers.
Jonathan Steinberg | Participating Election
I've been talking about this crisis for over a decade. It starts with adequate compensation for these employees who can make better money flipping burgers than taking care of our most vulnerable. It also involves adequate housing and transportation so that employees have reasonable/affordable commutes to their jobs. Lastly, we need to consider fundamental reform of our long-term care facilities, including a review of the condition of these facilities, many of which were shown to be inadequate during the pandemic's earliest days.
Anne Hughes | Participating Election
pay them what they deserve, including sick time, vacation, healthcare and retirement.
Cynthia Mangini | Participating Election
We need to offer better wages and benefits in order to address the long term care workforce crisis in our state
Lisa Thomas | Participating Election
As an educator, I feel Connecticut has done a good job of beginning to address this through debt-free community college. These schools provide excellent programs in healthcare that lead to well paid jobs. The increasing partnerships between our community colleges and public universities will strengthen these efforts. I’d also like to see expanded opportunities for students to attend our vo-tech high schools and for embedding vocational classes in our high schools. Of course, pay and benefits that recognize the hard, critical work of these employees is essential to retaining them.
Kara Rochelle | Participating Election
We recently stood up the CareerConnect program, with one of its free workforce training tracts being for jobs in healthcare. While we need to create more free and affordable training programs to bolster the workforce, we also need to look at bolstering pay rates, benefits, and working conditions to make these jobs more viable for adults to enter into. I think it's also worth examining creating a scholarship program and/or additional tax breaks for those who work in this industry.
John Rasimas | Participating Election
As with many industries, the providers of long-term facilities are affected by labor policies that do not encourage employment by enhancing unemployment benefit programs. We are in an environment where unemployment benefits should be for a very temporary time period.
Edwin Vargas | Participating Election
We need to increase the compensation and benefits of these employees to ensure that these jobs attract a sufficient number of applicants.
MD Masudur Rahman | Participating Election
We need to improve pay, benefits, and working conditions for our long-term care workforce to entice new talent into the field and to retain the amazing people working with us.
David Michel | Participating Election
We need a Fair Work Week, real Covid Pay, and proper insurance for our essential workers and will continue to help in those efforts. Also we need to keep close scrutiny on the treatment of essential workers by the owners and admins.
Lucy Dathan | Participating Election
This is a critical issue in many of our non-profit safety net providers as they are competing with the big box retailers to attract a workforce in a growing field. Within Appropriations, we have been working at funding these non profits to assist in the shorter term need. Even more importantly, we need to ensure that this becomes a focus of the Workforce Development Council so that we can develop a career progression path for this workforce that enables workers to see that this is not just a "dead end" job to care for people but a step to a longer-term career with advancement opportunities that will also provide advancing pay, training opportunities, mentorship and career mobility.
Christine Palm | Participating Election
The state should invest in small "cluster" housing where older folks help take care of one another. Long-term care plans cannot keep raising premiums.
Julie Kushner | Participating Election
First, I want to underscore how much we owe to long-term care workers who during the pandemic risked their lives, and the lives of their families. These workers were hit hard and suffered the greatest impact taking care of the sick and elderly. Long-term care workers are a critical part of Connecticut’s healthcare system and economy, and we need to ensure that our workforce is robust and supported. This includes increasing Medicaid reimbursement rates to support long-term care and investing in training programs for the next generation of care workers. We also need to address the cost of housing to make Connecticut a competitive, affordable place for care economy workers.
Robert Hotaling | Participating Election
We owe our elders respect and compassion for creating the world we live in. We have a labor shortage for practically every industry including medical workers. Long term care workers are a key factor in providing services to our elderly and are undervalued in society. We’d like to see them have greater ability for career advancement; for example, grow from care workers to technicians to nurses depending on their motivation for higher pay, better benefits and professional development. An apprenticeship model of advancement where you earn while you learn is the preferred way to approach this industry. The workers caring for our loved ones should be incentivized with higher pay, better benefits and tuition reimbursement for advancement in their field. We like to see more people age at home to as great a degree as possible through preventative healthcare, technology and at-home assistance, saving individuals money in reducing the number of long term care workers needed.
Kimberly Becker | Participating Election
Long term care workers work with our most vulnerable citizens: seniors and people who are disabled. These skilled jobs are demanding, both physically and mentally. Families depend on these workers to care for their loved ones with dignity and compassion. In return, long term care workers need to be supported with job training, competitive wages, and access to quality healthcare.
Christopher Green | Participating Election
We need to ensure our State programs and their non-profit partners are resourced to compensate these workers with appropriate wages and benefits. We need to continue to bolster affordable access to quality education and job training that give workers looking to step up the skills they need to get the job done in this and the other crucial shortage fields (nursing, teaching and law enforcement).
Jillian Gilchrest | Participating Election
I think the state needs to invest more in our long-term care system, both in terms of workforce and infrastructure.
Frank Smith | Participating Election
This is a multi faceted problem, including the high school to career pipeline, front-line worker fatigue after the COVID 19 pandemic, and a number of other factors. Medicaid reimbursements have not kept up with costs which further inhibit the ability of providers to pay our healthcare workers. I support investment on both the front end to enhance the number of candidates entering this sector’s workforce, while also ensuring that our commitment to keep up with costs through our state’s reimbursement for these services to the most vulnerable populations.
Bob Godfrey | Participating Election
Available jobs are more numerous than job seekers. Most of the jobs require advanced knowledge as well as talent. We should invest in our education system to ensure it is meeting the needs of potential employees regardless of age.