Methodist College to be Site for Health Careers Expo for 8th Grade Students

In an effort to educate middle school students about career opportunities in health care, Methodist College, UnityPoint Health Peoria, the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council, and Advanced Medical Transport are hosting a Health Careers Expo for eighth-grade students on May 18. The event will be held at the Methodist College campus at 7600 N. Academic Drive.

“The Greater Peoria Economic Development Council recently completed its 2017-2018 Talent Forecast and we have identified more than 3,000 job openings in health related occupations alone over the next two years,” said Kate Cundiff, Director of Workforce Solutions for the GPEDC. “We want to work with our employers to help grow our own talent in the region, so it is readily available for our employers in the future. Research shows that middle school is the most critical time to expose students to the variety of employment opportunities available to them, and to help them identify how to best prepare for their future careers.”

Students from ten Central Illinois schools will participate in the expo which will include nine different stations for the students to visit: Paramedic/EMT, Behavioral Health, Medical Assistant, Nursing, Respiratory Therapy, Surgical Technician, Lab Technician, Nursing Assistant, and Radiology. The stations will be staffed by educators and professionals in those career areas who will provide information as well as hands-on, interactive demonstrations for the students. The event is divided into two sessions with some schools attending the morning session, and other schools attending in the afternoon. The morning session kicks off at 9:00 a.m. and the afternoon session will start at 12:00 p.m.

“With the Health Careers Expo we hope to inspire students’ interest beyond predominant health care careers such as nursing,” said Dr. Eileen Setti, Chair of Career Pathways and Continuing Education at Methodist College. “By exposing them to a variety of career options, we hope to break any preconceptions they may have about what a career in health care looks like.”

This event, one of the first healthcare expos for 8th grade students, follows the tradition of the successful GPEDC Manufacturing Expo. These two events will now be rolled into one larger career expo called GP CareerSpark, which was recently announced by the GPEDC, to be held at the Peoria Civic Center. The CareerSpark expo, planned for October 2017, aims to give thousands of eighth-graders hands-on experience in choosing a career path. This new event, a partnership of the GPEDC and Junior Achievement of Central Illinois looks to draw 2,000 to 3,000 eighth-graders from across the region to learn about all 16 national career pathways.

For more information about the 8th Grade Health Careers Expo, please contact Dr. Eileen Setti, Methodist College Chair of Career Pathways and Continuing Education at (309) 282-8458.