As baby boomers get older, the demand grows for senior housing and services. In response, Holland Home recently opened a second 15-bed assisted living center at its Breton Woods Campus in Grand Rapids and has plans for an $18 million project at the Raybrook Campus. Holland Home also formed a venture in 2017 with Clark Retirement Community in Grand Rapids and Resthaven in Holland called Atrio Home Care. The Grand Rapids-based organization serves about 4,000 people annually and employs about 1,600 people. Talent is an issue for Holland Home as a good economy tightens the labor market.
“As far as the economy, we hear that things are good and solid and it is going to improve, and that’s good. … It’s interesting that when the economy is good, workforce availability is poor for us. It is opposite when the economy is poor: We have lots of people coming to work. One thing that we will see is as the economy improves, the workforce gets lighter for senior housing. When the economy is poor, more people either have to take on a second job or they’re getting a first job and they’re willing to do things that if the economy was better they (wouldn’t) have to do. … We have a lot of frontline, entry-level jobs in our dietary, in our resident assistants and our housekeeping. Those are the types of jobs that when the economy is down people take on. When the economy is better, people do not. … We keep hearing how people haven’t saved for retirement. We’ve been doing some research on baby boomers and what they look for in the future. The vast majority say, ‘I want to stay home. I want to be in my own home.’ That’s when you talk about, ‘OK, are you ready to pay for that?’ They have no idea on how much that’s going to cost and they’re all positive they’re going to be healthy and not need that. And then this whole tax law. There’s a lot of components in this whole tax law, that if that goes through, will affect not-for-profit, charities and senior living as far as tax-exempt bonds go.”