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Jack Dwyer - headshot
Dwyer Workforce Development
Jack Dwyer

The Baltimore-based Jack and Nancy Dwyer Workforce Development Center announced Wednesday the $590 million acquisition of a Texas-based 50-skilled-nursing-facility portfolio managed by Regency Integrated Health Services. DWD acquired Regency from multiple owners.

In what founder Jack Dwyer told the McKnight’s Business Daily is a “monumental deal,” the Regency Portfolio will transition from a for-profit to a not-for-profit organization. He said the Regency Portfolio purchase supports DWD’s mission to end systemic poverty, put poorer people on a career path and train them to become certified nursing assistants, and provide stability in the workforce to “provide better outcomes for the seniors at the nursing homes and assisted living facilities” through the Dwyer Scholars program — which trains and places caregivers in facilities.

The day-to-day operations of the Regency Portfolio facilities will not change, nor will the roles of the employees, nor the policies and procedures. Among other efforts, the two organizations will work collaboratively to train Dwyer Scholars. These are the caregivers trained and placed in care facilities, Dwyer said. The training will not be exclusive to Regency facilities, nor will it be limited to skilled nursing facilities; students will be placed wherever they are needed in Texas. 

Dwyer Workforce Development initially launched in Maryland and will mark 250 scholars completing the program by the end of this year. Working with other not-for-profits, DWD partners with workforce development organizations, and training partners, to help students complete their training, participate in clinicals, and then take the Board of Nursing exam. Once certified, the students are placed into full-time positions.

“We also pay for all training along the career path, because it’s important to us that if they choose to, they can continue to move along in their career ladder,”  DWD CEO Barb Clapp told the McKnight’s Business Daily. 

Dwyer Scholars are paired with case managers who work closely with them to identify career ladder goals to achieve over several years – keeping them on track for success. Additionally, she said the organization provides emergency grants that help with financial support for housing, childcare and transportation. 

Dwyer said DWD started its Dwyer Scholars program with a $2 million investment, but the cash flow to expand the effort into Texas comes from this acquisition. The goal is to open up throughout the country eventually, he said, adding that he hopes that states and agencies might consider grants to further the program.

“This partnership demonstrates the impact we can make on the lives of others and on the healthcare community by working together on a shared mission. This is just the beginning of many partnerships across the country that will make a monumental impact,” Clapp said.

“If people want to get engaged with us, reach out because we’re looking for all kinds of resources so we can make this bigger and better,” she added.