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Penn State DuBois Students, Grads Connect with Companies in High Demand Fields

In the photo, student Carl Griech, of DuBois, talks to potential employers in the Occupational Therapy field.
8/12/2010 —

DuBois – Students and graduates of the Penn State DuBois Occupational Therapy (OT) and Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA) programs may have an advantage over many jobseekers in today's market.  That was a refreshing lesson that OT student Carl Griech, of DuBois, learned at a job fair held specifically for students and recent grads in these fields.

 

"I found that there is a lot of opportunity," said Griech, who will graduate from Penn State DuBois in December.  "The outlook is good, really good.  It's a good time to be graduating in the next year or two." 

 

In fact, according to statistics assembled by the National Labor Relations Board, demand for qualified physical therapy assistants is expected to grow through 2016.  That's why some companies are now conducting wide-spread searches for qualified therapists and therapist assistants. 

 

"We came from three and a half hours away, and it was well worth it," said Jennifer Smith, of the Frederick, Maryland based therapy provider, TX Team.  "These students are coming out at a wonderful time because there is a lot of demand." 

 

A Penn State grad herself, Smith said she was able to make contact with prospective employees at the job fair.  She's looking for people in the OT and PTA fields who have the skills, and other abilities to make them great therapists.

 

"They need to have good bedside manner, professionalism, patience, and they need to be eager to learn." 

 

Penn State DuBois OT and PTA instructor Barb Reinard said the job fair not only offers great opportunity for students and graduates to connect with employers, but it's also another learning experience for the jobseekers. 

 

"They get a chance to practice the interview process," she said.  "It's another chance to shake a hand, and have that experience, and their confidence builds." 

 

Reinard said the annual fair may be one reason graduates of the Penn State PTA program are so successful.  She explained that program graduates have enjoyed a 100 percent employment rate for the last three years.  That's compared to a 78 percent employment rate in the field nation wide. 

 

"This may be the one extra thing that puts us in that category," said Reinard. 

 

For more information on the Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy Assistant Programs at Penn State DuBois, contact Director of Enrollment Missy Duttry at (814) 375-4720, or mab1@psu.edu  

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