Goodwill Helps Students Explore Careers in Demand

October 31, 2014, Press Release

JOHNSTOWN, PA, October 31, 2014—From October 20 through October 30, Cambria County middle and high school students from eight school districts had the opportunity to take a close look into in-demand, high-paying careers through Health Careers Week/Careers in Demand Week—a career-exploration event organized by Goodwill of the Southern Alleghenies, through services the agency operates at the PA CareerLink, Cambria County.

What first began as “Health Careers Week” in 2004 as an initiative of the Pennsylvania Workforce Investment Board to address critical labor shortages was expanded upon in 2008 to “Careers in Demand Week.” Health Careers Week addresses labor shortages across many health care occupations such as nursing, medical technology, respiratory therapy, pharmacy, imaging, dental hygiene, and direct care. “Careers in Demand Week” includes Advanced Materials and Diversified Manufacturing, Building and Construction, Information and Communications, and Logistics and Transportation.

What better way for students to learn about these careers than to talk directly with business and educational staff and tour company operations. The event included hands-on workshops, activities, tours, and STEM-related exercises. Participants included Congressman Keith Rothfus (R-PA 12), Cambria County Courthouse, Windber Research Institute, Saint Francis University’s Department of Energy, Penn State University, Children’s Behavioral Health, Johnstown Free Medical Clinic, Co-Gen Plant and Patton Wind Farm, Riggs Industries, and a WJAC-TV.

Congressman Keith Rothfus (R-PA 12) talks with students at Blacklick Valley High School about his job as a congressman.

Congressman Keith Rothfus (R-PA 12) talks with students at Blacklick Valley High School about his job as a congressman.

Each year, Goodwill/CareerLink Youth Services staff coordinate closely with area guidance counselors and principals to engage participation from area students. This year, the event provided a valuable venue for more than 758 students from Ferndale Area, Greater Johnstown, Richland, Forest Hills, Portage, Central Cambria, Greater Johnstown Career and Technology Center, and Blacklick Valley to get a first-hand look at possible careers.

Guidance counselor for Blacklick Valley Junior Senior High School, Brian Gibson, encourages and fully supports his students’ involvement in this career event. “This was an excellent way to tie in Pennsylvania’s Academic Standards for Career Education and Work. The presenters were friendly, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic, which led to an invaluable learning experience for our students,” said Gibson. He added, “In addition, the visit by Congressman Keith Rothfus only added to the exceptional day that was experienced by our students.”

For more information on Health Careers Week/Careers in Demand Week, contact Nancy Peck, Goodwill’s Senior Project Manager at (814) 533-2493, ext. 264 or


Goodwill Industries of the Conemaugh Valley (GICV), Inc. is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1962 to empower individuals and families with employment barriers to achieve their fullest potential in the community through work services. Headquartered in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, GICV serves individuals with disabilities and disadvantages, dislocated workers, youth, and other job seekers throughout south central Pennsylvania in the counties of Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Huntingdon, Indiana, Somerset and a portion of Westmoreland by providing education and career services as well as job placement and postemployment supports. GICV is a community-based member organization of Goodwill Industries International, a 179-member network in the U.S., Canada, and 13 other countries. Learn more at
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