In 2006, the Donahue Institute of the University of Massachusetts was commissioned by the Providers’ Council to provide a comprehensive analysis of the state of the human services workforce in Massachusetts and its implications for the future. Findings from the first report, Help Wanted: The Future of the Human Services Workforce in Massachusetts, were fascinating and reflected an increasing concern for our future. While the human services sector is an essential industry to the Commonwealth — the industry’s more than 100,000 employees serve one in ten residents — anticipated changes in need and demographics in Massachusetts foretell an incredible challenge. This critical workforce analysis prompted thought and accelerated the call for viable solutions.
The Council directed its energy to searching for paths to alleviate the impending crisis. We engaged the Donahue Institute for a second report, this one to look at perceptions of and possible solutions to the main questions that arose from the first report: First, How do we meet our job recruitment needs? And just as importantly, What effective retention strategies can we explore? The research included interviewing national experts and local key informants, developing a questionnaire about turnover and vacancies, conducting a focus group with providers, and surveying the Providers’ Council membership.
Herein we proudly present to you, our friends, supporters and colleagues the result of our efforts — Help Wanted 2: Recruiting and Retaining the Next Generation of Human Services Workers in Massachusetts.