In many ways, 2021 was about experiencing and learning what is the “new normal” of our society and the human services sector, as Council members continued creating paths for providing high quality, effective services to residents of the Commonwealth – even while dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic,
experiencing an unprecedented workforce crisis and addressing racial equity and justice.
Candidly, our members discovered and/or created pathways to persevere through the hardships and challenges they confronted over the last year. They fought through enormous headwinds of unfair talent competition in striving to fill a 180,000-job workforce in the community-based human services sector – a challenge that would have been incomprehensible without a committed human services workforce that embodied the spirit of being Essential: Then, Now and Always.
The Providers’ Council, too, worked to provide accessible and effective opportunities from possibilities with support and programming to its statewide membership with diverse solutions. With our trade colleagues, we secured $30 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds for workforce development in the sector, including $16.5 million for a student loan repayment program and $13.5 million for grant programs that would recruit and retain dedicated staff. This was in addition to hundreds of millions in additional COVID relief funding and new Chapter 257 dollars. Our Annual Convention & Expo again drew nearly
1,000 attendees and hosted Governor Charlie Baker, U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Rachael Rollins, EOHHS Secretary Marylou Sudders, nonprofit advocate Vu Le and many more to a virtual platform for learning, networking, sharing and celebrating – while remaining the largest convening of its type in the Northeast. Meanwhile, the Council’s online learning management system, Providers’ eAcademy, expanded to more than 100 organizations and over 50,000 learners.
We know our community-based human services organizations are often forced to do more with less in an environment with increased costs and sometimes uncertain revenues. And yet we’re honored and humbled by your confidence in the Council – expressed in a 99 percent member retention rate in 2021 – the
highest mark in our organization’s 47-year history.
As our sector, state and nation recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and the workforce crisis, we are
thankful for the contributions of our many members in building a stronger Commonwealth for all who live in it. And to our incomparable workforce, thank you!
The accomplishments in this Annual Report would not have been possible without you – our members. From all of us at the Providers’ Council and our esteemed Board of Directors, we thank you for your tireless efforts in building caring communities throughout Massachusetts and providing essential services to one-in-ten state residents – then, now and always.