HARRISBURG – Two bills to update training procedures and remove employment barriers so more people can join the long-term care workforce was approved with bipartisan support by the PA Senate. Senate Bill 1102 expands both the availability of long-term care training courses for nurse aides and the eligibility for individuals to take the nurse aide competency exam. Senior advocates support the measure, noting that they would remove barriers for those seeking employment at long-term care centers while still ensuring employees are well-qualified. Senate Bill 1104 would allow high school juniors and seniors to earn up to two credits toward their graduation requirement by employment in a long-term nursing care facility, a personal care home, or an assisted living residence. This would allow these students to enter the workforce more quickly. The number of Pennsylvanians 65 and older is expected to double by the year 2040. Despite the sharp increase, labor statistics show that from 2019 to 2022, PA saw a 14% decrease in long-term care professionals. Both bills advance to the PA House.