The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) have released the following statement in support of the Strengthening Knowledge, Improving Learning, and Livelihoods (SKILLS) Act, introduced by Congressman Fred Keller (R-Pa.).

The following statement is attributable to Mark Parkinson, AHCA/NCAL president and chief executive officer:

“We thank Congressman Keller for introducing this important legislation. Today, nearly every nursing home and assisted living community is facing a workforce crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A new survey of our members found that 86 percent of nursing homes and 77 percent of assisted living providers say their workforce situation has gotten worse over the last three months. Providers nationwide are struggling to fill vacant roles, and a lack of qualified candidates is one of the biggest obstacles in hiring workers.

“The SKILLS Act will help create a pipeline of essential workers for the long term care sector. Strengthening our workforce is critical to providing quality care for the millions of seniors in our nursing homes and assisted living communities, but we need federal resources to accomplish this.

“We appreciate Congressman Keller making the long term care workforce a priority, and we look forward to working with him to help pass this bill.”​