Fair to offer career change advice

Career Changer fair

Published: Thursday, October 1, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 3:22 p.m.

Thinking of a career change?


Career Changer fair

What: Plus 50 Career Changer Fair.
When: 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 6.
Where: Santa Fe College, Build. R, Room 01, 3000 NW 83rd St.
Cost: Free.
Information: (352) 395-5650.

If you are at least 50 years of age, then attending a free "Plus 50 Career Changer Fair" at Santa Fe College may be a good place to start.

Sheila Lucas, director for the Health Sciences Counseling Office at SFC, said the fair is designed to give an overview of short term training and degree programs available at SFC for individuals ages 50 and older who are looking for a different career focus, and or, are needing a new career.

The Plus 50 Career Changer Fair will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 6, at SFC, build. R, room 01,3000 NW 83rd St. Registration, which is encouraged but not required, is available by calling (352) 395-5650.

Participants don't need to bring resumes, transcripts or anything of that sort, instead, Lucas said they should come prepared to learn what's available and how to accomplish their career goals.

"This is a jumping off for additional fairs," said Lucas.

"We're providing information to get people thinking about their options."

Lucas said career counselors, and admission and financial aid advisors will be on hand to answer questions and provide assistance.

Participants will have an opportunity to learn about programs in health care including 16 different health care tracks offered at SFC, and other programs including biotechnology, construction management, information technology, graphic design, business, and information technology.

Dr. Paul Hutchins, Dean of Workforce Programs at SFC, said representatives from the various departments will discuss individual programs including length, cost, admission requirements.

They will also provide information about job opportunities and salaries.

He said training programs vary in length from one semester to two years.

"We want to provide information people need to make good decisions," said Hutchins.

"SFC wants to reach out to let people know what's available so they can come to SFC to get the training they need to get back into the workforce."

Hutchins said this fair and subsequent fairs are part of a Plus 50 initiative, which is funded through a $40,000 total three-year grant from the American Association of Colleges.

Hutchins said the grant does not provide funding for tuition, but financial aid counselors will be on hand to discuss loans and scholarships that may be available.

Hutchins said SFC is offering short-term training and degree programs that vary in length from one semester to two years, and represent careers that are in demand so people can enter the workforce.

"In this economy, it's difficult to make ends meet without being in the workforce," said Hutchins. "There are a lot of folks over 50 that can really benefit from some of these programs."

Lucas said this fair is a starting point to get people thinking about their options.

"We want to empower you to make choices, and to see what are your options," said Lucas, "and to learn how to go about accomplishing your goals."

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