Since the Providers’ Council was founded in 1975, the organization has been known for many things. We’ve been a voice on Beacon Hill, advocating for fair policies for the community-based human services sector; a leader in education, training and eLearning through our online learning management system Providers’ eAcademy®; and an association committed to ensuring the best value for its members through relationships with our Endorsed Business Partners.
But above all else, the Council has been widely recognized as a tireless champion for the human services workforce. We herald a workforce that fills 160,000 jobs – where 80 percent of jobs are filled by women, and organizations are twice as likely to employ people of color and 1.5 times as likely to employ Latinx workers and people with disabilities than all other industries in Massachusetts. But unfortunately, our sector is also one where median wages are significantly less than other sectors and one-in-six workers are below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
Throughout 2022, we worked with our allies in the human services community to continue trying to right those wrongs and advocate for community-based human services workers to earn a livable wage for the incredible jobs that they do. Between the FY ’23 state budget and an Economic Development bill, we partnered with the legislature to secure more than $450 million in new human services allocations – much of which is exclusively toward workforce development. The Council, appointed to the Human Services Workforce Board, helped to determine how $16.5 million in loan repayment funds would be distributed to workers. And many organizations also received funding through a $42.5 million grant program designed to help human services organizations with recruitment and retention. These allocations were principally due to the advocacy from the Council and our members across the state who made their voices heard.
But our workforce didn’t just have victories on Beacon Hill in 2022. The numbers throughout the Providers’ Council were impressive, as Providers’ eAcademy hit milestones by signing on its 50,000th learner and 100th organization; The Caring Force grew to more than 31,000 members; Jobs with Heart had nearly 400,000 job exposures; our member retention rate exceeded 99 percent for the second straight year; and we returned to holding an in-person Convention & Expo that sold out faster than it has in our organization’s history. Our first ever forum for Lieutenant Governor candidates to discuss human services issues was held last May as well. Without a doubt, 2022 was an incredible year, and it was only possible due to the commitment and efforts of our incredible membership.
We are honored and humbled by your continued membership in the Providers’ Council. We’re immensely proud of the accomplishments you’ll read about this year in our Annual Report, but they wouldn’t have been achievable without your efforts. From all of us at the Providers’ Council and our Board of Directors, we thank you for your tireless efforts to serve hundreds of thousands of residents in Massachusetts. Thanks for making the Commonwealth a better place for all who live here.