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El Paso ISD CTE students meet with health care organizations, interview for jobs during first Healthcare Expo and Job Fair

(STARLIGHT EVENT CENTER – May 25, 2023) – More than 370 El Paso ISD seniors with newly-minted health care credentials spent Thursday morning at the Starlight Event Center interviewing for jobs with area hospitals and facilities during the first Healthcare Expo and Job Fair.

Students from CCTE, Irvin, Jefferson, Franklin and Silva Health Magnet high schools put on their interview attire to visit with agencies such as Las Palmas Del Sol, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, the Hospitals of Providence, University Medical Center, UTEP, Walgreens, CVS, William Beaumont Army Medical Center, the El Paso Zoo and dozens more exhibitors.

“The goal of today’s event is to put together the whole story of what it means to be a CTE health care science student from start to finish,” said CTE facilitator Denise Galvez, R.N. “The health care community in El Paso has opened the doors to our students. This event showcases how our health care community all came together.”

Students booked interviews with the various health care entities and walked the exhibit area to learn more about different job opportunities available to them with their current certifications and as they complete their postsecondary education.

“We’re creating college-ready, career-ready individuals,” Galvez said. “Our program is academically rigorous. They are well-prepared. They know about the patient care experience and the hospital experience. They already know what it takes to work in health care.”

Silva senior Kevin Marta interviewed with Center at Zaragoza for a Certified Nursing Assistant position. The recruiter walked him through the process of applying and spoke to him about his credentials.

“This event is very helpful for us because it’s hard to get a job,” said Marta, who is seeking a night shift job as a CNA. “This has been a wonderful opportunity.”

Franklin senior Avory Rojas also interviewed for a CNA position at UMC. She found the experience extremely helpful to begin the interview process and learn more about nursing. She plans to go to EPCC for basics and complete her bachelor of science in nursing at UTEP.

“It’s been a really good opportunity and helpful because you’re getting interviewed on the spot and you have opportunity to apply for many jobs,” she said. “This is has helped me learn more about getting into nursing.”

The event was equally popular with the exhibitors and recruiters who had the opportunity to meet the next generation of employees.

Beth Vaugh, assistant vice president of academic partnerships for Las Palmas Del Sol, saw the job fair event as an extension of the innovation that El Paso ISD offers health care students.

“El Paso ISD is innovative because they have offered opportunities for students to be active in health care community at a young age,” Vaugh said. “They are demonstrating and setting the standard for all other ISDs throughout Texas.”

Vaugh, who flew in from Austin, offered a presentation on AI in health care and spent time meeting with students.

“It’s overwhelming and joyous to see the excitement on the faces of the students,” she said. “This is opening up doors and pathways for the students and we’re so excited to partner with them.”

Las Palmas Del Sol is one of the hospitals where students have shadowed nurses and doctors as they become more familiar with the professions available in the hospital setting. The priceless opportunity gives students a taste of the field to ensure they want to continue their course of study after high school.

“El Paso ISD is meeting the needs of students by helping them learn about the reality of nursing,” she said. “It is helping to excite and entice more students to solidify their career trajectory in health care.”