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PA Governor Rendell Puts Focus of Health Careers Week on In-Demand Occupations

Wednesday, November 11, 2009 General News J E 4
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Student Health Care Hero Award Winners Saluted at Kickoff Event

HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Edward G. Rendell today celebrated Health Careers Week in Pennsylvania by urging students to build a rewarding future through one of 10 in-demand allied health occupations.

"There will be rising demand for many health care occupations across the state over the next seven years," said Governor Rendell. "During Health Careers Week, I encourage students to discover these 10 rewarding, in-demand career paths that benefit millions of Pennsylvanians now and in the future. These are professional opportunities that last year paid an average annual wage of more than $53,000."

The health careers in the spotlight are dental assistants, dental hygienists, medical and clinical laboratory technologists, medical and clinical laboratory technicians, pharmacists, physical therapists, physical therapy assistants, radiological technicians, respiratory therapists, and medical records/health information technicians. These occupations will comprise more than 101,000 Pennsylvania jobs by 2016, and will show a combined growth of nearly 20 percent over 2006, according to the state's long-term occupational employment projections.

Currently, health care careers account for more than a half million of the more than 6.2 million jobs in Pennsylvania. That number is expected to jump to 660,000 health care jobs by 2016.

During the Health Careers Week kickoff event at Zembo Shrine Center, Kelly Boxler, a junior at Chambersburg Area Senior High School and Franklin County Career and Technology Center in Chambersburg, was recognized by Labor & Industry Deputy Secretary for Workforce Development Fred Dedrick as the statewide winner of the 2009 Student Health Care Hero Award. Four other regional finalists were also recognized at the event.

"Students such as Kelly Boxler, who dedicate themselves to exploring careers in health care through volunteer or part-time service, are Pennsylvania's greatest asset as we confront tomorrow's workforce challenges," said Dedrick. "I speak for all Pennsylvanians when I applaud Kelly for the more than 2,200 hours of volunteer work she has done for multiple health care organizations over the past two years."

Boxler's volunteer work includes teaching water safety to children and assisting in blood drives for the American Red Cross and helping with clinics at the local senior center. Her participation in emergency calls with Pleasant Hall Volunteer Fire Co. helped to earn her the organization's junior firefighter of the year award in 2009.

Health Careers Week is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Center for Health Careers in cooperation with more than 40 public and private government, education and health care industry organizations.

For more information on health careers in Pennsylvania, visit www.paworkforce.state.pa.us. Select "A to Z Link List," then select "Center for Health Careers" then, from the left navigation bar, select "Health Careers Week."

EDITOR'S NOTE: The 2009 Student Health Care Hero Award regional winners are as follows:

State winner, Central Region winner, representing South Central Workforce Investment Area: Kelly Boxler, Chambersburg Area Senior High School and Franklin County Career and Technology Center, Chambersburg, Franklin County.

Northwest Region winner, representing West Central Workforce Investment Area: Abby Marie Smith, Hickory High School, Hermitage, Mercer County.

Northeast Region winner, representing Northern Tier Workforce Investment Area: Brittany J. Brown, Tunkhannock Area High School, Tunkhannock, Wyoming County.

Southeast Region winner, representing Lehigh Valley Workforce Investment Area: Amber Sperlbaum, Parkland High School, Orefield, Lehigh County.

Southwest Region winner, representing Tri-County Workforce Investment Area: Paige J. Hagofsky, Ford City Senior High School, Ford City, Armstrong County.

Media contacts:

David Smith, Department of Labor & Industry; 717-787-7530

Gary Tuma, Governor's Office; 717-783-1116

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry
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