Secrets of the Job Hunt


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Medical Jobs Expected To Grow By 3 Million Within Ten Years

With healthcare costs rising and the baby boomers aging faster than ever, one of the least discussed questions is "Who will care for graying America?" It's a legitimate and loaded question. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the number of people in older age groups, with much greater than average health care needs, will grow faster than the total population between 2006 and 2016.

As businesses scramble to provide suitable solutions, a school in Ontario, California has taken an atypical approach to prepare for medical jobs.

The American Career College campus in Ontario is not your standard vocational school; the new multi-million dollar facility is a stunning architectural piece literally steps away from the freeway. To meet the nation's population growth and produce a compassionate army of qualified medical professionals, the school has leveraged smart design to its advantage and enrollment has multiplied.

"Design matters," says ACC President and CEO David Pyle. "In Ontario, student satisfaction has surged along with the number of qualified instructors applying to teach there. Maintenance expenses have decreased and a sense of permanence has been created with a high tech facility, purpose built for our curriculum."

In a community dealing with the effects of "brain drain," a term coined by Ontario Economic Development Director, Mary Jane Olhasso, permanence is paramount.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, Health care will generate three million new wage and salary jobs between 2006 and 2016, more than any other industry. Seven of the twenty fastest growing occupations are health care related. The median age of registered nurses is increasing, and not enough younger workers are replacing them. As a result, employers in some parts of the country are reporting difficulties in attracting and retaining nurses.

The health care industry provides many job opportunities for people without specialized training beyond high school. Many of the students at the ACC fit this criterion.

The Design: Students that by and large do not attend college were given a bright and airy campus from the Higher Education design experts at California-based LPA Inc. Tilt-up concrete panels used in an imaginative manner give the building its affordable, yet classic exterior skin. Inside, designers created social space that offers comfortable, contemporary furniture, motivating graphics and soft, artificial turf.

Durable materials, finishes and fixtures stand up to constant student traffic. Earth-colored terra cotta tiles, made with recycled content, infuse an Ivy League sophistication into the entrance. Scores of glass walls provide an atmosphere of transparency so that students feel connected to their teachers, classmates and curriculum at all times.

"Since students at the ACC undergo an intense, nine month boot camp-like educational experience, it was important to provide an environment that would produce academic pride. Since the learning process isn't limited to the classroom, the design needed to serve intellectual, social and personal needs," said LPA Design Principal, Glenn Carels. "David Pyle is incredibly passionate about this mission and he's not doing it for his ego, he's bold. He's doing it for the students and I love that. He's innovative."

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