attended the District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund’s Healthcare Career Fair, an annual career
exploration event at the Training Fund’s Breslin Learning Center in Center City Philadelphia.
The 2015 Career Fair celebrated Healthcare Apprenticeships, and helped bring the US Department of Labor’s inaugural National Apprenticeship Week — and Philadelphia Apprenticeship Week, as a proclamation from Mayor Michael A. Nutter declared it — to a close. During the Fair’s opening session, students heard from healthcare union and employer representatives working on new apprenticeship programs, a Community Health Worker Apprentice and her supervisor at Philadelphia FIGHT, and John Ladd — administrator of the US Office of Apprenticeship since 2008.
The Career Fair also featured healthcare and human service professionals from across the Greater Philadelphia region, whose generous donations of time and expertise helped make the Fair a success. Speakers at this year’s event included EEG technicians, Community Health Workers, therapists, social workers, dentists, hospital system and insurance company administrators, behavioral health
specialists, and others. This range of speakers helped student attendees at the Career Fair widen their perceptions of what it means to work in the local healthcare sector, and begin to grasp the huge range of employment opportunities open to students with almost any set of skills, interests and aptitudes.
In addition to Career Panels, the Fair included interactive occupational health-and-safety training led by peer trainers from Lincoln High School. Lincoln students, who received their training through an OSHA-funded worker education program operated by the Training Fund, led their peers through hands-on, interactive educational presentations on disease transmission/prevention, dealing with hazards in the workplace, and other important occupational safety and health topics.
Training Fund Executive Director Cheryl Feldman stressed the importance of the Fund’s commitment to supporting the School District of Philadelphia and its students: “This is one of the most important events the Fund organizes each year,” she explained. “Helping to get young people interested in and informed about health careers is vital to ensuring that local employers have a pipeline of qualified applicants to meet their future hiring needs.”