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Healthcare Career Fair set for May 3

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04.28.2016College & CommunityCollege General

SANFORD - With healthcare employers struggling to find enough qualified workers and many people looking for a rewarding career, Central Carolina Community College plans to unite the two groups next month with its inaugural Healthcare Career Fair.

The fair will be held on May 3, from 2 to 8 p.m., at the gymnasium on the CCCC Lee Campus in Sanford. It allows employment recruiters to meet face-to-face with job seekers, but also offers free career seminars and information about pursuing work in the healthcare industry.

"What we found is that there's a huge unmet need in the community," says Mike Peluso, business services coordinator for CCCC and the Triangle South Workforce Development Board, two groups sponsoring the event. "We do have our traditional career fair, but the current needs in the healthcare industry are really substantial."

How substantial? The North Carolina Department of Commerce publishes a list of North Carolina Star Jobs to identify occupations with the best employment potential. Peluso says 11 of the top 15 jobs in this region for associate degree holders are all related to healthcare. First on the list is registered nurses, but the next three are medical and clinical laboratory technicians, dental hygienists, and radiological technicians.

Employers including Central Carolina Hospital, Harnett Health System, and St. Joseph of the Pines signed on early to meet with potential employees. Positions being recruited by companies committing early to participate include registered nurse, licensed practical nurse and certified nursing assistant. Event organizers expect other positions to be recruited as well.

Rosalind Cross, CCCC's director of workforce development and WIOA programs, emphasizes that the fair isn't only for job seekers. It's also for anyone involved in healthcare or who might want to explore the burgeoning field as a possible career.

"The Healthcare Career Fair presents a wonderful opportunity for participants to gain more knowledge and understanding about needs in the workforce," says Cross. "We're actually in the process of building a certified career pathway in healthcare that focuses on nursing - something that will provide many entry and exit points for people who are seeking careers but may not be able to complete the entire program of study at once. That makes this career fair even more timely.

"We're looking forward to working with employers in our region to make this a yearly event."

Several free seminars have already been confirmed for this year's fair.

In "Long-term Career Pathways in Medical," Judy Woodson Bruhn from the North Carolina Department of Commerce examines alternative career pathways to medical degrees and what the field will look like in the future.

"Marketing Yourself in This Healthcare Economy" features Charlie Balles, a job coach with the NCWorks Career Center, explaining how to set yourself apart from other viable job candidates.

Balles also will present "Interviewing 101: How to Really Be Prepared" to provide job seekers with a step-by-step plan for a successful job interview.

In "How to Get Your Next Medical Credential While Managing Life," CCCC Nursing Instructor Consuela Blaizes offers tips and secrets to help nurses earn more advanced credentials while managing their careers and family life.

"What the Other Side Is Thinking When You Interview For a Healthcare Job," presented by Walmart Pharmacy Manager Chandra Torry, helps pharmacy technicians understand the growing job demands and how to present themselves effectively in the job search.

And in "How Do I Get Started: Intro to Med Programs (High School to College)," CCCC Human Resources Development Plus Director Crystal McIver explains how to launch a rewarding healthcare career.

"We want to have a vibrant workforce exchange," says Peluso. "This is designed to facilitate connections between students and a broad range of employers in the healthcare field, so everyone can see all of the options available. And that includes members of the public who haven't even thought much about healthcare as a career."

All seminars are free and open to the public, though seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Free booths are still available for healthcare employers interested in recruiting or meeting with qualified workers by contacting Peluso at 919-777-7725 or