Job Fair Connects In-Demand Occupational Therapy Grads with Careers
Students in the Penn State DuBois Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program met face-to-face with potential employers during the OTA Job Fair held on campus on September 14. A number of companies that are recruiting professionals in the occupational therapy field were on hand. The event is held specifically for students and recent graduates in this high-demand field, and designed to get them placed in their careers as soon as they are ready to enter the workforce.
"We want students to be aware of the opportunities that are here locally, as well as ones that are out of the area," said OTA Instructor Marge Pendzick. She noted that employers who attended the fair ranged from local therapy-based companies, to large-scale care providers with locations across the country. Currently, there is a great demand for people in the occupational therapy field across the United States, and here in Pennsylvania, making it a favorable career choice.
"These graduates probably won't have trouble finding jobs here," said Chad Eppley, the director of operations for Benchmark Therapies, based in Huntingdon, PA, who represented his company at the fair. "But if you look at regional demand, some places are even better than others. In Pennsylvania, in places like Lancaster, Chester County, and Lebanon, there are three jobs available for each one of these graduates, and that's a conservative estimate."
Even OTA students just beginning in the program attended the fair. Though they may have some time left before they begin their career, OTA Instructor LuAnn Demi said the interaction with employers is still a good experience for underclassmen. She said, "It gives them the chance to practice their professional behaviors and job interviewing skills. It also gives them a reason to prepare a résumé, and see what kinds of opportunities are out there. "
OTA student Carrie Flanagan, of Curwensville, will graduate in December. She's now deciding where she would like to start her career, and found that she has plenty of options.
"It's nice to see all of the facilities represented here. There is a lot of opportunity here, locally. I would also consider moving away to work for some of these other companies that seem really great. It helps a lot that Penn State DuBois does this for us."