Investing in care infrastructure: is it good business?
MSNBC News Anchor Andrea Mitchell interviews Tina Tchen of Time’s Up regarding a nationwide effort by what is being called the Care Economy Business Council, to work with US lawmakers in Washington, D.C. to advocate for investing in those who have ‘care’ jobs, including family caregivers.
The efforts come as President Joe Biden and Democratic lawmakers are working to secure enough votes to move the proposed American Families Plan forward. One aspect of that proposed plan is to expand access to Long-Term care services under Medicaid and to raise pay rates for home care and child care workers.
Care Economy 2021?
Wednesday, July 14, 2021, some of the founding members of the Care Economy Business Council met via zoom with the US Department of Commerce Secretary, Gina Raimondo.
Secretary Raimondo described the care economy as an element to be addressed in order for the United States to remain competitive on the global business stage; describing it as a $600 billion dollar component of the US economy. She told participants it is ‘imperative’ business leaders address the needs of those who work as caregivers to children, those with disabilities and those caring for elders.
“Thank you to each and every one of the business folks on the zoom for helping us to draw attention to this issue,” said Secretary Raimondo. “And for advocating for these critical investments.”
Secretary Raimondo also talked about statistics indicating a growing number of people are what she called sandwiched – that is, raising children and caring for elders. She went on to say,
“When I, as a policymaker think about the demographics of so many more people being in this middle and baby boomers aging and our frayed and inadequate system of caregiving in America, in my mind it’s a huge competitive disadvantage for America.”
Business Leaders Join Forces
Business leaders who joined the meeting by zoom included representatives from McDonald’s, Uber, PayPal, Patagonia and Care.Com. More than 80 individuals logged-on to the zoom session to hear from a handful of CEO’s who are on the leading edge of this issue.
“We need to have women and diversity in the workforce. And in order to do that, we must have a care infrastructure bill in order to support all aspects of child care, eldercare and everything in between,” explained Tim Allen, the Chief Executive Officer of Care.Com.
“We still have a lot of work to do to get this done in Congress and the business community. Not every leader in business is where you all are, so I can’t thank you enough for your leadership,” said Secretary Raimondo.
Tina Tchen; Time’s Up/Courtesy:Twitter
Time’s Up Tchen also discussed a report the organization recently released, pointing to how caregiving is related to the economy.
“We did an economic analysis of the Build Back Better Plan, and it shows that in the first year alone 1.6 million new jobs could be created and nearly 3-million workers who are right now out of the workforce who had to step back because they don’t have sufficient caregiving support, will be able to come back into the workforce. And that’s just in the first year of implementing these investments.” explained Tchen.
Time’s Up, to which Keeping it REAL Caregiving has joined as a supporting member, is taking the message of the ‘care economy’ to the public across numerous platforms.
In addition to regular posts on social media; the organization also took out a full-page ad in the New York Times Wednesday, July 14, 2021. The focus: to ask the nation’s businesses and governmental leaders to work together and invest in ‘the care economy.’
Visit Time’s Up for more information about the latest efforts to move caregiving support into the national, business and political conversation.