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Middle-schoolers invited to health careers expo

COVINGTON — Middle-schoolers across the county can find out if a career in health care is the right choice for them by attending the first Newton County Health Careers Expo hosted by Washington Street Community Center.

The nonprofit organization is teaming with community partners with the goal of reaching 1,000 middle-schoolers with the interactive expo, designed to give students a hands-on feel for various health care jobs.

“The whole idea is to reach out to our school and medical and health community here in Newton and put on a huge career day with an emphasis on health careers in the 21st century,” said Washington Street Director Bea Jackson.

The event takes place from 10 a.m. — 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2 at Newton College and Career Academy, located at 144 Ram Drive. It coincides with an education summit hosted by Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey at neighboring Newton High School from 9:30 a.m. — 1 p.m. Jackson said she hopes students will attend the expo while their parents are at the summit.

Washington Street, which has an after-school tutorial program, has been focused on the STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — curriculum, Jackson said, and since health care is a hot career field, Jackson said the goal of the expo is to educate students about what jobs are available and educational requirements. She said students may not realize they need technical or specialized schooling for some positions.

Newton Medical Center’s pharmacy, radiology, emergency and nursing departments will participate, along with Baxter International, local physicians, dentists and other local health care-related businesses. Jackson said the information booths will be designed so students can get some hands-on experience and an idea of what various professionals do.

“We’re looking to help develop the labor force for Newton County’s future,” she said. “We thought this was the ideal age to introduce, when kids are really interested and curious and really begin to start thinking about things they might want to do.”

The event is free, but preregistration is required. For more information, call 770-786-4002.