IRON MOUNTAIN - The Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center hosted approximately 140 juniors from the Kingsford High School over two days that included a tour of the medical center and first-hand look at VA careers.
"Being located in a rural area makes it difficult to recruit various specialty professions, so our Workforce Development and EEO Diversity Committees are dedicated to reaching out to our community to tap into local talent," noted MaryAnne Gibler, EEO program manager at the medical center,
More than 50 VA staff participated in showing students just what they do and what type of education was needed to accomplish their goals. After a facility tour, students attended two of the seven career booths of their choice, where they learned about two to three careers at each booth.
Students were exposed to a variety of professions ranging from social work, nursing, physician, and rehabilitation medicine to finance, human resources, informational technology and health care management. In all, 20 careers were highlighted.
In many of the sessions, students participated in hands-on demonstrations such as checking airways of a fully computerized patient mannequin and performing laparoscopic surgery using a training device. Students interested in engineering careers were given a tour of the various shops and professions that keep the medical center fully functioning.
"The passionate dedication of the VA employees we met on Monday and Tuesday is obvious," said Kendalynn Sutton, an English teacher at Kingsford High School. "They served to illustrate to our students how hard work, goal setting and passion lead to career success."
"This was powerful!" added Nancy Jayne, guidance counselor at Kingsford.
Prior to the career fair days, Gibler and Chad Bianchi, a local intern, conducted a presentation on "Jobs vs. Careers" to the students.
"The Kingsford High School Flivver Foundation Class worked with us to assist the junior class in looking to the future," said Gibler, who has presented VA careers and taught job seeking skills at various local schools.