Health careers fair coming to Coffman

Students looking for jobs might want to take a look at the health care field; itâÄôs projected to be the largest growing industry nationally in the next eight years. The Health Careers Center is hosting a career fair Tuesday to educate students on how to snag the job they want when theyâÄôre done with school, in a field thatâÄôs projected to produce 3 million jobs by 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The career fair will take place between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. at the Great Hall in Coffman Union. The demand for health care is high, Tricia Todd , assistant director with the Health Careers Center, said. Nationally, seven of the 10 fastest-growing occupations are health related. ItâÄôs much the same story in Minnesota. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, more than 60 percent of the stateâÄôs counties in 2007 had been at least partially considered a Health Professional Shortage Area. An HPSA is an area the Health Resources and Services Administration designates as one with fewer health professionals than needed. Most of these areas are in rural Minnesota. Todd said she believes that itâÄôs because of the baby boomer generation retiring and requiring more care. âÄúThis is the first time in the history of mankind where large populations live past 80,âÄù she said. But rural Minnesota areas arenâÄôt the only ones in need. According to a report published in 2007, Minnesota ranked 38th among all states in equity rankings in health care. The low ranking is due to a gap in the quality of health care among minority groups in Minnesota. âÄúWe have a long way to go with health care in this country,âÄù Todd said. Although Todd said Minnesota is an area in need of workers, students also look farther away. âÄúWe look at it broadly and even globally,âÄù she said. âÄúI donâÄôt think you can not look at it globally.âÄù Statistics show that health professionals are needed across the country. There are nearly 6,000 areas across the U.S. that are classified as HPSAs, according to the HRSA, affecting 63 million people. TuesdayâÄôs career fair will aim to spark students into careers that could help address the shortage. âÄúMany students ask, âÄòWhat are the steps I need to take to get into this?âÄôâÄù Jennifer Rosand, an event organizer, said. âÄúThis is a great way for students to shop the different paths.âÄù The Minnesota Medical Leaders student group will be at the event. ItâÄôs a pre-med student group that helps students find opportunities in the medical field. Every year, members volunteer at hospitals in the area and raise money to give to hospitals in developing nations. âÄúWeâÄôll be there to hand out brochures and hopefully get people interested,âÄù group member Ken Dodd said. Members of the Pre-Dental Club will also be at the event. They get people ready for the field by helping applicants be competitive and talking with practicing dentists to make connections. âÄúBest thing IâÄôd want to accomplish there is to inform students about the career of dentistry,âÄù group member David Nedrelow said.