NewsPhoenix Metro News


Valley non-profit putting $250K grant toward boosting employee pay

Posted at 7:20 AM, Mar 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-08 09:20:18-05

PHOENIX — A lot of employers have had trouble not only keeping workers in the workplace but attracting new ones too during the Great Resignation.

Pay seems to be one of the biggest reasons workers are making a switch in jobs or careers.

At Valley nonprofit Foundation for Senior Living, leaders say a $250,000 grant is helping them boost pay by an extra $2 an hour for employees in some of their programs.

FSL’s Adult Day Health Services centers take in older adults and adults with disabilities and provide care and activities for the day while their caretakers get things done for themselves, like going to appointments, exercising, or even meeting with friends.

Staffing, however, has limited the number of adults they can take in.

“It’s been terrible,” said FSL Community Outreach Coordinator Nydia Montijo. “We had to suspend one of our programs because we couldn’t hire. We can’t keep the staff and we don’t have sufficient staff to run the program appropriately, so it’s on pause right now.”

Montijo knows personally how important self-care and programs like these are for caretakers after taking care of both her parents before they passed.

Competition for workers right now is fierce.

Arizona State University Professor of Economics Lee McPheters said the unemployment rate right now is low – under 2.5% in the Phoenix metro.

It means there aren’t a lot of people looking for work, and employers are going to have to step up the perks to entice them.

“The main thing that employers have to work with, you know, the tools available to them,” McPheters said. “They have their wages, you know. What can they offer workers? But there’s also opportunities for innovation, I think, working conditions. Perhaps even adding on certain benefits such as paying for education and, in other words, making the workplace a good place to be. Creating the sense that there’s some sustainability there and that there’s a reward system.”

McPheters said there’s especially a struggle to attract women into the workforce right now, with a lot of them having to drop their jobs to take over childcare and senior care roles at home.

However, Montijo said about 58% of women caretakers are still working and juggling it with caretaking as well.