BayCare Partners with Local Nonprofit to Offer Ideal Opportunity for Young Job-Seekers
While some high school grads are prepping their dorms and getting ready for the first day of college, several others are ditching the books and jumping right into the hot job market.
Let's face it, college isn't for everyone.
That's why BayCare has partnered with the Future Career Academy and Hillsborough County Public Schools to help non-college bound students discover their next steps.
By connecting high school seniors with local businesses and community leaders, students get to discover job opportunities around the community and get a hands-on approach to learning the entrepreneurial skills needed to be successful in the workplace.
"We wanted to create a liaison and get them introduced to new companies in the area right away," Future Career Academy co-founder, Danny McIntyre said. "We visit high schools and take a group of employers and we talk about what it means to be a great employee."
For many students, the program is a wake-up call to career opportunities and entry-level positions that are waiting for them as soon as they graduate. Job fairs are held throughout the year to bring students, employers and local leaders together.
"I'm here because I wanted to find new opportunities and find new jobs and help with my career path. And just figuring out what's out there," said Manuel, a Plant City High School Senior who was drawn to BayCare's booth at a recent event. "I'm interested in the medical field and want to become a cardiovascular sonographer. What interested me [about BayCare] was that they help train and help with college tuition. And I just feel like they have a lot of opportunities there."
BayCare has been a big sponsor of the program and helped students transition to the workforce by developing, mentoring, and coaching them.
"This is like our bread and butter. These are the wonderful students that are going to be our professionals later down the road. So why not get in with them now and teach them life skills," said Angel Brown, BayCare's Director of Recruitment and Talent Acquisition.
“Partnering with great employers like BayCare opens up so many diverse and rewarding opportunities for our students. BayCare is one of the premier companies in our region and the Future Career Academy is thankful for their help to prepare and connect our students across the county with the great jobs available at not only their hospitals, but their many other offices and facilities,” Future Career Academy founder, Yvonne Fry added.
Through the academy, students from 10 partnering Hillsborough County public schools will have the resume and interview skills needed to prepare them for careers.
"I too, went to Plant City High School and was not college-bound," Brown explains. She began working in an entry-level position at St. Joseph's Hospital and her career has since grown. "I was able to go back to school- couldn't afford college right out of high school but BayCare afforded me my whole college career without any debt, and then different opportunities along the way."
It's a path that former Plant City High School graduate, Dulce Torres, hopes to follow. Hired at last year's job fair as a nurse helper, Torres says the program has given her the experience and confidence to pursue a career in nursing.
"It really gives you an idea into what you want to do every single day. When you get to work in an actual hospital, there's like different positions that you can do and see what the responsibilities are," Torres said. "It has really helped me to see what I'm going to do and helped pursue my interest in the nursing career as an RN. I already know how to interact with patients, calm them whenever they're scared or frustrated and I make sure they have food, drinks, anything to keep them comfortable."
A plan is already in motion for the program to expand county-wide, with all 31 schools in Hillsborough County participating in the 2022-2023 school year.
For more information on BayCare careers, visit baycare.org/careers.