two women talking
(Photo credit: Cecilie_Arcurs/Getty Images)

As the senior living industry struggles to create a workforce pipeline to meet the growing care needs of older adults, one provider looked inward to its “abundance of rock stars” to provide advancement opportunities. 

Priority Life Care recently launched the Pathway to Promotion program to target existing employees ready to develop skills and leadership qualities to advance their careers in the field.

“At PLC, we’ve realized the fact that we have an abundance of rock stars within our organizations, and we want to be sure that we do our part in providing opportunities for those who go above and beyond in search of advancement,” said Mark Starks, senior vice president of operations. “I’m where I’m at today because someone gave me a chance. Seeing the growth within our organizations is one of the most rewarding things for me, and this program is already succeeding in making that growth possible in an efficient and effective way for the Priority Life Care team.”

The Pathway to Promotion curriculum includes mentorship and intensive training that can be customized based on an employee’s ultimate advancement goals. Although most participants spend six months in the program, the program length can vary depending on an individual’s aspirations and preferred pathway.

“My job is to help provide more opportunities for those currently working in our communities,” Priority Life Care CEO Sevy Petras said. “This program helps give a formal process to ensure every person who is looking for career advancement has the chance to pursue them — in any department or in any community.”

Participants must be active employees in any of Priority Life’s more than 45 communities and in good standing for at least six months. Other criteria include excellent attendance and punctuality, outstanding competency, good communication skills and knowledge of the organization’s mission and culture: Working with H.E.A.R.T (heart, energy, accountability, respect, teamwork).

The program was piloted in 2022 and launched companywide Jan. 1. Thirty employees currently are enrolled in the program, which is ongoing.