Origin Story

Origin Story
HCAP Healthcare Career

Healthcare Career Advancement Program (H-CAP) is a national labor-management organization of SEIU locals and healthcare employers that partner on developing high-quality and innovative workforce solutions. These partnerships span 16 states plus DC and cover more than 1,000 employers and 550,000 workers, enabling front-line healthcare workers in acute and long-term care to access training benefits through collective bargaining. H-CAP also has an affiliated Education Association, a national organization of affiliated labor-management Training Funds (workforce intermediary organizations) in healthcare. Our organizational mission is to promote job quality and equity for the healthcare workforce through “high-road” training partnerships and workforce development strategies that focus on the intersection of equity, job quality and educational attainment.

Through our work to develop innovative workforce development solutions to some of the biggest workforce recruitment and retention challenges in long-term care today, we've seen first-hand how the majority of long-term care (LTC) workers are undervalued, underpaid and marginalized with few opportunities for career advancement. We posit that it is no accident that while LTC workers in our country provide the essential care that millions of older adults and people with disabilities rely on, the workers themselves continue to be marginalized with little recognition of the crucial role they play in our society. The reality is that the majority of caregivers are Black and brown women and/or immigrants who – through a series of intentional policy choices – are overrepresented in low-wage occupations with limited workplace rights and little hope for advancement. These caregiving jobs are some of the fastest growing occupations in the U.S., yet they are growing without proper attention to the systemic racial inequities that are inextricably tied to poor job quality.

We believe that in developing innovative workforce policy centered on BIPOC women caregivers, we can confront the links between systemic racial and gender inequities and poor job quality that are at the root of the care crisis. In service of this important goal, H-CAP was awarded a three-year W. K. Kellogg Foundation grant to build policy and communications capacity to develop a LTC workforce policy platform that centers job quality and equity, while simultaneously driving narrative change. And so, The Center for Advancing Racial Equity and Job Quality in Long-Term Care (The Center for Equity), was born.