impact magazine – maine’s workforce challenges by our own bonnie-jean brooks
OHI is a nonprofit agency with services in six rural counties. We provide a wide variety of supports for over 600 people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD) or mental illness, and to many who are homeless. Like most states, Maine providers are faced with looming workforce shortages that are getting worse.
aine is the largest state in New England with a population of 1.3 million people, larger than the other five New England states combined. Its unemployment rate is 3.7%, and the rate in Penobscot County, where the majority of OHI employees reside, is 3.1%. Maine’s household poverty rate is 14.90%, the highest of all the New England states. Maine has the oldest median age in the country at 44 and it is getting older faster than any other state. The living wage for a single adult who is working full-time is $15.66 an hour. OHI’s starting wage for a Direct Support Professional (DSP) is $10.50 an hour. These demographics, combined with the rural nature of Maine and the transportation deficits, add up to a significant workforce challenge.
Read the full article here: https://ici.umn.edu/products/impact/311/OHI/#OHI