The 2016 Career Fair was the second to celebrate Healthcare Apprenticeships as part of the US Department of Labor’s inaugural National Apprenticeship Week — as well as Philadelphia and Pennsylvania’s Apprenticeship Week, as proclamations from Mayor Jim Kenney and Governor Tom Wolf declared it — to a close. Thanks to its status as a National Apprenticeship Week event, the Career Fair’s plenary session featured prominent speakers from the local healthcare industry as well as major policy and workforce leaders. Those delivering remarks included Patrick Eiding, President of the Philadelphia AFL-CIO; Eric Seleznow, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the US Department of Labor Employment & Training Administration; Lorelai Narvaja, Chief Strategy Officer for Philadelphia FIGHT; and NUHHCE union President Henry Nicholas.
In addition to Career Panels, the Fair included interactive occupational health-and-safety training led by peer trainers from Roxborough High School. Roxborough students participating in the Training Fund-sponsored STE(A)M Scholars healthcare pipeline program and 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 and 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 talented workers they can rely on to grow the local economy and compete with other regions, nationally and internationally, in a world of healthcare provision that is changing and evolving every single day.”
This year’s Health Career Fair was organized by the Training Fund-sponsored Greater Philadelphia Healthcare Partnership in collaboration with a team of first-year Wharton School undergraduate students. The GottHealth student team recruited speakers and sponsors and organized the career exploration and interactive panels; in coming weeks, the students will also complete a comprehensive evaluation of the Career Fair and its programming, making recommendations for Fair improvement for their “Management 100” course. The students also created a website documenting the Fair’s success: healthcarecareerfair2016.weebly.com
Students attendees at the 2016 Career Fair represented Abraham Lincoln, Jules E Mastbaum, A Philip Randolph, Martin Luther King Jr, Paul Robeson and South Philadelphia High Schools, as well as Sankofa Freedom Academy, Kensington Health Sciences Academy, Franklin Learning Center and the Training Fund’s own Nurse Aide occupational training program for out-of-school youth.
The District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund’s Health Career Fair is an annual event, held each November. Philadelphia high schools interested in attending future events should contact the School District’s Office of Career & Technical Education. Students interested in healthcare training programs offered by the Training Fund can visit www.1199ctraining.org, call 215-568-2220, or stop in to the Breslin Learning Center at 100 South Broad Street (intersection of Broad and Chestnut Streets), 10th Floor.