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Parish offering health careers day

VIDALIA — Concordia Parish sophomores will have the opportunity to explore some of the lesser known health care professions next Tuesday at the Vidalia Conference and Convention Center.

The group of approximately 250 sophomores attending the health careers day on Feb. 1 will see the variety of professions available in the health care industry.

Concordia Parish School Board Academic Director Paul Nelson said the goal of the career day is to try and get students interested in the health care field.

“There are other jobs in the health care field that aren’t being a doctor or a nurse,” he said. “And when we look at job projections for this area, health care is one of the biggest fields to show a growth of jobs in the future.”

Nelson said many students believe you have to go to school anywhere from four to eight years to get a good job, and that these beliefs need to change.

“We want to give the students the opportunity to talk with professionals about what they do and how they are trained,” he said. “A lot of these jobs are two year associate’s degrees that are offered close to here.”

Nelson said students will be split into seven groups and each group will be sent into a different room to talk with a couple of people from each profession.

Dentists, dental hygienists, speech therapists, occupational therapists and radiology technicians are just a few of the professions that will be represented to the students, Nelson said.

“We are hoping it is a good experience. We just want to introduce the kids to different options,” he said. “Health care facilities always seem to be hiring, and we certainly want to have kids getting an education and staying in the community with good jobs.”

Nelson said this is the first time the health care career day has been offered and that the board intends on doing more to expose students to possible careers.

“Our goal is to have something like this every year,” he said. “Next year we want to have an entrepreneur and small business career day for the juniors.”

Nelson said the board has also shown interest in hosting law enforcement, court system and prison system career days in the future.

“Our long term goal is to have a program every year for each grade,” he said. “We already have the college and career day for the seniors, and we now have this one. We are getting there.”

Nelson said he wanted to thank everyone who helped in putting the career day together.

“We have a lot of ideas we have to expand so we can move forward,” he said. “We are really lucky we have people in the community who are receptive enough to come out and help these students.”

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