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Date Posted: 03/02/2020

DHS Announced Proposed Investments in and Restructuring of HDC Workforce

For Immediate Release:

March 3, 2020

Media Contacts: 

Amy Webb
Chief of Communications

Marci Manley
Deputy Chief of Communications

DHS Announced Proposed Investments in and Restructuring of HDC Workforce*

(LITTLE ROCK, Ark.) --- The Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) has worked with state officials and legislators to developed a proposed restructuring of the pay scale and minimum requirements for direct care workers at its five Human Development Centers (HDCs) for the first time in 40 years.The changes would result in increased pay and professional certifications that match what is expected at private sector facilities, DHS Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) Director Melissa Stone announced Monday.

“Today we are taking a big step forward with a proposal that will make the HDCs a more attractive and competitive place to work, reduce our turnover, and provide our clients with the stability in their caregivers that they deserve,” Stone said. “Families have made it clear that they want the choice of both home- and community-based care and care at HDCs, but we have struggled with attracting and keeping qualified caregivers at the centers. We hope these changes will go a long way to fix that.”

Hundreds of workers gathered in the gymnasium at the Conway Human Development Center for the announcement Monday cheered when they learned of the pay increases and new certification. 

The proposed changes include:

Additionally, the base pay for non-direct care staff making minimum wage (maintenance, laundry, food prep technicians, etc.) will increase to $11 an hour as part of the statewide minimum wage increase that goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2021. These employees also will be offered an opportunity to enroll in CNA training at no charge to the employee.

The cost of the changes will be offset by cost savings that are the result of efficiency efforts by the division. 

* The original version of this press release did not make clear that the proposal has not yet been approved by the State Legislature.  


Arkansas Department of Human Services
Arkansas Department of Human Services

Arkansas Department
of Human Services
(501) 682-1001

TTY: 1-800-285-1131 or dial 711 for Arkansas Relay Service

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