On October 29th, NYACH held its first Healthcare Career Expo: Not just Doctors and Nurses at the CUNY Graduate Center. The event was the first of a series of career exploration activities part of NYACH’s Ready for Healthcare initiative, a larger industry-designed an industry-driven, co-curricular strategy to improve and expand work-based learning (WBL) opportunities for high school students at healthcare Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs in NYC and part of JPMorgan Chase’s New Skills for Youth initiative.
Approximately 150 students from four healthcare CTE programs in NYC – spanning the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan – were in attendance for the half-day program to meet and hear from 15 industry professionals. The professionals came from 8 employers and represented the different subsectors of the field in an effort to expose students to the variety of settings that healthcare professionals are employed. The event began with a keynote address by Monefa Anderson, Senior Assistant Vice President and Chief of Staff of Nursing at NYC Health + Hospitals, and continued with a panel of Human Resources and Talent Acquisition professionals who spoke both about their career trajectory as healthcare administrators and the types of skills and jobs that are in demand in their institutions. Students then had lunch alongside the industry professionals before breaking out into smaller rooms to hear from a rotation of panels that included a wide variety of careers organized by subsector.
In advance of the event, students were given learning packets that have been developed as part of a larger WBL toolkit of resources that NYACH is compiling intended for educators, students and employers. The assignment had students research the institutions and professionals prior to, take guided notes during, and then reflect after the event. This preparation yielded an engaged group of students who asked thoughtful questions and ensured co-curricular alignment with classroom learning.
Feedback among event participants has been very positive. Bruce Levinson, the CTE instructor at the High School for Health Professions, shared that the Expo was “extremely well organized and the panelists were extremely engaging, honest and very passionate about their career choices. The students were very impressed with the backstories of the panelists [and] felt like they had made a personal connection with many of the panelists.” Monefa Anderson, the keynote speaker stated, “The students were engaged the entire time and expressed interest in career trajectory and the steps each present or took to get to their current position. They were well prepared and asked thoughtful questions around future health care career needs and demands.”
A special thanks to the employers who participated in the event and made for its success:
- NYC Health + Hospitals
- New York-Presbyterian Hospital
- Mount Sinai Health System
- Northwell Health
- Institute for Family Health
- Urban Health Plan
- Union Community Health Center