Students from the Career and Technical Institute’s Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program as well as students from Dutchess BOCES' Adult Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) program found a plethora of potential employers eager to share information about opportunities within their organization at BOCES’ Annual Health Care Career Fair on May 31.

About 15 percent of graduating students have already lined up jobs, while others are just getting started exploring their options, according to Joanne Williams, Coordinator of Health Occupations. “Approximately 70 percent of our students continue their education after graduating,” shared Williams, “with many balancing an entry-level job in healthcare while pursuing further education.”
Golden Hill Nursing and Rehabilitation Center intrigued CNA students Ashley Neithardt and Norberto Juarez. “They offer a flexible schedule that would allow me to continue my education,” explained Neithardt. 
Malcolm Estwick attended the CNA program while in high school. After working in the healthcare field for almost 10 years, he returned to BOCES for the LPN program. “The LPN program was clinically challenging, but I am happy to reach the finish line,” he said. The Career Fair allowed him to connect with a prospective employer and set up an interview. Gabrielle Ackerman, a fellow student in the LPN program noted, “When looking at employers, there are so many components besides pay to consider such as schedule and patient loads.”
While some employers shared their starting pay, others such as Premier Medical emphasized work-life balance. “We strive for work-life balance by offering full-time positions with weekends off,” explained Beberly Maharaj, a talent acquisition partner at Premier. “We value our employees and we are rapidly growing,” she added.
Denise Smith, nurse educator/clinical coordinator for Northern Westchester Restorative Therapy and Nursing Center was attending for the first time. “I’m actually a BOCES graduate myself,” she said, “now I’m here hoping to recruit CNAs and LPNs.”
Naim Fanek, recruiter for Brookmeade, noted the competitive environment among employers but felt confident in his ability to connect with potential hires through the job fair. “At last year’s event, Brookmeade recruited two Dutchess BOCES students from the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program. Those employees are now completing their education to become LPNs,” he shared.
“We’re looking for a mutual perfect fit,” explained Tia Daniels, talent acquisition partner for Premier Medical Group. “LPN hires are sometimes difficult to find, but we also are looking for medical assistants, lab and customer service hires as long as they are eager to learn and passionate about healthcare.”
During lunch, the Main Advisory Committee Meeting was held to gather participants’ feedback on student preparation for the job market; information that pinpoints ways to enhance programs in the future.