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Health Career Fest to address need for workers

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Health Career Fest to address need for workers
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

With the success of last year’s Tour of Manufacturing, this year’s focus on needed careers is healthcare.

Health Career Fest 2014, which will be held April 11, is geared toward high school students in surrounding school districts, showing them the options in health care and the need for those careers.

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“We, CEP, M State, the chamber, see the need for employees in the healthcare field,” Chamber Executive Director Carrie Johnston said.

With the Tour of Manufacturing, students were bussed between manufacturing facilities to show them firsthand what the jobs entail.

With restraints like germs and HIPAA laws in the healthcare field though, the career fest will take place at M State, and those associated with the fest will come to the students instead.

About 200 students have signed up for a day of career options, facility options, education requirements, testimonials and more.

“It’s different between a two-year, four-year and more (college) and we help how to navigate through all that,” Rural Minnesota CEP Employment Counselor Kristina Seifert said of CEP’s role in helping people find jobs and education. “If you’d like to get into the healthcare field but don’t know how to do that, we help with how to navigate that.”

Some people may hear healthcare field and think nursing, and there are the traditional roles like nurses, but there are other careers as well, like medical coding or dietician.

“Things people don’t think of in medical fields,” Seifert said.

During the day, there will be representatives from Ecumen, Essentia Health, Sanford, EMS and more to talk about open career fields and the education needed for them.

“There will be testimonials of people in the field,” Seifert said.

There will also be testimonials from people who have experienced the need of healthcare first hand on a regular basis, meaning patients.

Dr. Andrew Moen, a podiatrist with Essentia Health, will be the keynote speaker at the event. He started out his college career as an engineer, but after a couple internships, realized it wasn’t the right fit for him and instead went into the medical field, specializing in podiatry.

Not only have there been multiple media stories lately regarding the need for nurses and other medical personnel, but the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development has also posted statistics regarding the need for healthcare professionals now and in the future. And people of all ages are getting the message.

“We haven’t had a problem getting people to join,” Johnston said of getting students to sign up for the career fest.

She said that the employers participating in the career fest want to show that all facilities are looking for healthcare workers. They aren’t competing for workers, but rather want to grow good facilities for area people to go to.

“Every facility is screaming for healthcare workers,” Seifert said.

Since the Health Career Fest is geared toward high school students, those adults looking for a change in careers can contact Rural Minnesota CEP for advice on making that change. Seifert said they can help with career paths and goals.

The Health Career Fest 2014 is April 11 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in M State. Students interested in attending can sign up through their schools.

Follow Pippi Mayfield on Twitter at @PippiMayfield.

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