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Local human services organizations facing workforce shortage

June 2023

See the full story from Spectrum News

WORCESTER, Mass. - A summit in Worcester Monday aimed to address a human services workforce shortage across the area and take on improving race equity, strengthening access to services and creating opportunities for youth, immigrants and refugees.

Human service organizations like Open Sky and the Seven Hills Foundation assist people with disabilities and life challenges. Between the two, there are more than 4,500, and right now, around 1,000 of them are open.

Open Sky vice president of human resources Lisa Jeronymo said this has a dramatic impact on their services.

"Currently, our managers are not able to be managers,” Jeronymo said. “They're covering shifts within our programs, which means there may not be staff meetings. They may not be able to hire, train and develop staff as they would want to. We have inconsistent staffing which adds to a lack of continuity of services to folks we serve. We might even have a delay in services in some of the programs we operate."

Monday's summit was hosted by Open Sky Community Services, the Seven Hills Foundation, UMass Chan Medical School and the City of Worcester.

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