SOAR hosts Healthcare Career Pathway Fair to combat healthcare worker shortage

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Published: Feb. 25, 2022 at 5:42 PM EST
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PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) held its first Healthcare Career Pathway Fair for high school students Friday at the Appalachian Wireless Arena on Friday.

“There hadn’t been a career fair in Pikeville for a while, so that’s where the conception or initial idea of this career fair came about,” said Lilly Helmouth-Malone, SOAR Healthy Communities Team Member. “Why don’t we have a healthcare focused career fair for high school students from the area to show them, okay, if you want to go into healthcare, these are the available careers for you.”

More than 700 students and staff from the Big Sandy region gathered to get a front row glimpse of different healthcare professions and even got to take part in some hands-on activities.

“So, we put a lot of thought [into it] and thanks to our hospital partners for helping us with that to think about how they can get creative and be really engaging and hands-on with these students today,” said Colby Hall, SOAR Executive Director.

Those involved said this event not only showcases potential careers the students can become a part of once they graduate but it also shows them the healthcare careers that are available in their own back yards.

“Hopefully, we can convince at least a few of them that healthcare is a valid career to go into, no matter what profession you choose and that you’re able to stay here and give back to your community,” said Helmouth-Malone.

Hall said he would like to thank all of the healthcare partners, colleges and organizations that made this event possible.

He added that he hopes SOAR can host more fairs for different career pathways in the future.

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