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News - February 15, 2022
For Immediate Release: February 14, 2022
Contact: Elizabeth Bement | 703.915.5830 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Alexandria, VA – Taking a leadership action to address the nation’s staffing shortages in senior living and health care services, Goodwin House Incorporated (GHI) has published “A Guide to Establishing a U.S. Citizenship Program for Employees.” The playbook draws from a GHI program that has helped more than 90 employees earn or begin the journey to U.S. Citizenship. GHI is a senior living and health care services organization that supports more than 2,300 older adults across the National Capital Region.
In 2018 and at the suggestion of a resident of Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads, GHI established the Citizenship Grant Program with a focus on providing staff members with grants to cover the cost of the U.S. citizenship application fee. Funded by donors to the Goodwin House Foundation, the program also helps connect staff with residents of GHI’s senior living communities who are eager to “give back” and tutor staff as they study and prepare for their citizenship exams.
“We feel honored that so many organizations and individuals around the country are interested in introducing a citizenship program within their organizations,” said Rob Liebreich, GHI President and CEO. “Creating a workplace that offers a sense of welcoming and belonging is a cornerstone of Goodwin House. Our citizenship program serves as a way to help our staff members achieve their goals, realize their dreams and secure their futures.”
GHI was inspired to develop the playbook after receiving inquiries from organizations and individuals nationwide who read about the program in news articles stemming from a September citizenship ceremony hosted at GHI’s two campuses. These groups expressed interest in implementing similar programs for their own employees. This week, GHI is distributing the playbook to national and state associations in the senior living field, healthcare associations and partners, chambers of commerce, local and state governments and career associations around the country.
According to McKnight’s Senior Living, immigrants make up 25.7% of the workforce in long-term care, and according to the Migration Policy Institute, 38% of home health aides are immigrants. The cost of U.S. citizenship application fees can be over $700, a significant expense for immigrants and their families. GHI’s citizenship playbook provides guidance on how to support these employees throughout the application process and alleviate the financial burden that comes with it.
“The cost of citizenship application fees should not be a barrier to anyone, and particularly those who dedicate their lives to working in the senior living and healthcare fields,” said Valerie Burke, GHI Chief Philanthropy Officer. “We’ve shared every detail of our program in this playbook with the hope that it will be another tool for other organizations to support their current and future staff members and address the growing shortage of employees to serve our nation’s older adults.”
A Guide to Establishing a U.S. Citizenship Program for Employees is available at no cost and can be accessed and downloaded by visiting https://goodwinliving.org/blog/how-to-expand-your-workforce-by-launching-a-u-s-citizenship-program/.
About Goodwin House Incorporated: Celebrating 55 years of providing exceptional service to older adults, Goodwin House Incorporated (GHI) is a not-for-profit, Virginia-based corporation affiliated with the Episcopal Church. Through its growing family of senior living and healthcare services owned and operated across Northern Virginia and in the District of Columbia, GHI serves 2,200 older adults with options that include: two Life Plan Communities—Goodwin House Alexandria and Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads; an innovative continuing care at home program—Goodwin House at Home; and a portfolio of healthcare services and partnerships delivering Home Health, Rehabilitation, Primary Care, Palliative Care, Hospice and Brain Health.
GHI also is the management agent for The Lewinsville Retirement Residences, Inc. serving low-income older adults in McLean and Great Falls, Virginia. GHI also advances its mission through the Goodwin House Foundation, a 501(c)(3) supporting foundation that provides financial support to current and future residents in need and to fund programs dedicated to promoting growth and education of staff as well as overall well-being and vibrant living as we age.