MOUNT VERNON — There was a good turnout Tuesday for the Health Career Fair hosted by the Knox County Career Center adult education department. Both employer representatives and educational training representatives were on hand to meet prospective employees or prospective students wanting to advance their skills.
Educational institutions participating in the fair included KCCC School of Practical Nursing, Central Ohio Technical College, MedCentral Hospital, Mount Carmel and Otterbein University, Nursing Graduate Program.
Jonathan Francis, admissions counselor for Mount Carmel College of Nursing, was on hand to answer questions about the college’s nursing program. He said career fairs are helpful in getting the word out about educational opportunities in the health care field and can be a valuable student recruitment tool. Such fairs also make it easier for prospective students to compare the merits of various programs.
One of the visitors taking advantage of the fair to check out the different opportunities for continuing her education was Amy Overton of Newark. She graduated from the Knox County Career Center nursing program in 2010 and is thinking of pursuing an RN degree.
She said career fairs such as the one held Tuesday are very helpful.
“There are actually people who you can talk to,” she said. “You can put a name with a face, rather than talking on the phone and not really knowing who you are talking to. It does help.”
Aymara Scott and Amanda Higgs were two of the attendees who were looking for career opportunities. Employers such as Alice Cree of Centerburg Pointe were more than happy to answer their questions.
Cree said career fairs are a help because prospective employees don’t have to drive to each health care facility to find out about what is available and the employers can give them the information they need right on the spot.
Other health care employer participants included CareSource, Comfort Keepers, Country Club Retirement Campus, Country View of Sunbury, Heartland of Centerburg, Emeritus at HillenVale, Interim Health, Knox Community Hospital, Knox County Health Department, Licking Memorial Health Systems, Maxim Health Care Systems, Mohican Sports Medicine, Signature Health Services and The Laurels of Mount Vernon.
Opportunity Job Network’s Job-a-bego was also on site to facilitate the job application process. Every employer at the fair was on the computer system in the van. Job seekers could pull up a list of all the jobs each had available, print off materials and even apply online.
“Career fairs are very helpful for people,” said Cathy Hedges, resource room counselor for Opportunity Knox. “Sometimes they can’t always get into our building. And there’s job changes all the time. Career fairs get the word out about us and the services we can provide. ... Sometimes people are in between careers and don’t really know what they want to do. They can come to a career fair without any big expectations. They might find out you don’t have to be an RN or an STNA. There’s sports medicine, some of the ladies are doing outpatient care, switchboard and other health care-related occupations. The career fairs sometimes give people other avenues to look down and help them think outside the box.”