Labor Force

Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College


In a strip mall north of Richmond, it’s graduation day for a class of home care aides. The group stands up together to recite a creed.

“I will strive to maintain integrity and be strengthened by compassion, courage, and faith at all times,” they chant.

Kate Thompson


Thanks to a rotating crew of homecare companions, Barbara Williams’ husband was able to live at home at the end of his life

“I met many many good people during that time, that were really good caregivers and very caring,” recalls Williams.


They’re the people who take care of the physically disabled, mentally disabled, our elderly parents. They bathe, feed, comfort and care. They’re home healthcare workers. And as our population ages they’ll be more in demand than ever before.

AP Photo / Steve Helber, File

Virginia’s unemployment rate is now down to levels that haven’t been seen since before the recession hit a decade ago. That’s the good news. But, there’s an important part of the story those numbers don’t tell.

MBandman / Creative Commons

Young people are increasingly delaying their entry into the workforce, a trend that could have drastic consequences for what happens when they do finally get that first job.