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Pathway Focus of the Month: Health Services


Potential Career: Medical Laboratorian

Clinical laboratory science professionals, often called medical laboratorians, are vital healthcare detectives, uncovering and providing laboratory information from laboratory analyses that assist physicians in patient diagnosis and treatment, as well as in disease monitoring or prevention (maintenance of health). We use sophisticated biomedical instrumentation and technology, computers, and methods requiring manual dexterity to perform laboratory testing on blood and body fluids. Laboratory testing encompasses such disciplines as clinical chemistry, hematology, immunology, immunohematology, microbiology, and molecular biology. Clinical laboratory science professionals generate accurate laboratory data that are needed to aid in detecting cancer, heart attacks, diabetes, infectious mononucleosis, and identification of bacteria or viruses that cause infections, as well as in detecting drugs of abuse. In addition, we monitor testing quality and consult with other members of the healthcare team. (from the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science.)

Job Outlook: At the national level, the Bureau of Labor Statistics claims this field will see faster than average employment growth, and excellent job opportunities are expected. In Massachusetts, demand for health care and social assistance remained high and fueled the largest number of job postings during the 4th quarter of 2007. The 20,016 open health care positions accounted for 22 percent of all jobs posted during this quarter. Over the year, the volume of open-for-hire positions in health care rose 14 percent while the job vacancy rate climbed to 4.4 percent, up from 4.0 percent a year ago. Health support workers continued to have the highest job vacancy rate (4.5 percent) among all service workers despite a drop in job postings over the year.

For More Information: See American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science, where you can find out more about the skill sets and values a student needs to pursue this field. Lab Science Careers provides information on cross-industry setting for those with this background (Lab Science Careers), and the site is very youth friendly. Finally, check out the career research resources on the All Allied Health Schools website, including a bar chart comparison of salary, degree time, degree cost and job growth. (Beware of the advertising for their private partner school programs: Allied Health Schools.)

About BCC’s Programming: Students in the Clinical Lab Science curriculum will be prepared to work in a modern clinical laboratory performing a wide range of laboratory procedures used in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of disease. They develop academic and technical competence in the major areas of clinical laboratory practice: hematology, clinical chemistry, clinical microbiology, and immunohematology.

Hint for Success: The Clinical Lab Technician must have good interpersonal skills in order to be a member of the health care team. You should also enjoy the sciences and have good math skills.



Economic Stimulus Bill– American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan

(adapted from Jean Fox, Director, Youth Council, Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board (GNBWIB).)

With the downward spiral of the economy, and as record numbers of unemployed workers pass through the doors, youth face fewer and fewer employment options.  Homelessness and crime are on the rise. The national stimulus package for the local Workforce Investment Act (WIA) is pegged at $1.57 million for youth. Other non-WIA dollars will enhance youth program offerings for the next two years.

The charge from President Obama and from Governor Patrick is to connect with low and moderate income individuals with infrastructure and green jobs, with emphasis on 18-24 year old unemployed youth. The infrastructure and green jobs must include mechanisms that create middle-class income jobs with benefits (via project-labor agreements, for example).  All jobs created or supported by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan must be listed with Career Centers, which will be responsible for conducting all necessary screening and job matching.  The Career Centers will also track employment and hiring outcomes under the Stimulus/Recovery funding.

Stay tuned for future updates and programming specifics as the GNBWIB Youth Council strives for transparency in its program planning and funding spending.

Educating Our Future About Careers in Manufacturing (from MassMEP newsletter)

In early February, the Regional Technology Center in Western Mass had the distinct pleasure of spending the day with the folks from ATETV, the Advanced Technological Education Television, a National Science Foundation (NSF) product.  Anthony Manupelli and Mary Ellen Gardner of WGBH Boston, on behalf of ATETV, came to town. Their many years of experience include "NOVA", "This Old House", MTV, and technical programming for PBS WGBH.

The mission of this ATETV project is to film CEO's leading technology enabled companies, speaking to students about the value of studies in the STEM disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. These 10 to 15 minute dialogues with students will appear in April on YouTube, MySpace, and other web sites where students congregate. These highly valued students are the workforce of today and the future. These "conversations" have become vital for the success of the technology-based US economy.

The ATETV team set up a studio in the EDC Conference Room, downtown Springfield, and proceeded to the capture on film some of the finest business leaders from our technology-enabled community in Western MA, including:

  • Stan Kowalski, III, President & CEO, FloDesign Wind Turbine Corporation
  • Dave Marlin, President & CEO, MetaComet Systems
  • Dr. Larry Schwartz, PhD, Science Director, Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute (PVLSI)
  • Bill Bither, President & CEO, Atalasoft
  • Keith Parent, President & CEO, Court Square Group
  • Laura Bernstein, President & CEO, CRA, Inc.

Most Stimulus Jobs Require College Experience: Study finds few jobs for high school dropouts,

written by Jamaal Abdul-Alim, Youth Today

A little more than half of the 3.7 million jobs expected to be created by the new economic stimulus package will require some type of post-secondary education or training, according to a new study - the results of which provide ammunition for both proponents and critics of the movement to get more young people to attend college.

The analysis - done by Anthony Carnevale, director of the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University - estimates that 54 percent of the jobs created by the stimulus plan will require some college experience. Of the 46 percent of the jobs that don't require any college, high school dropouts will be eligible for only about one-fourth, the study found.  Jeff Strohl, a co-author of the study and research director at the center, acknowledged that the percentage of jobs that will go to those with more than a high school diploma is not much higher than the percentage of jobs for those without post-secondary experience. Nevertheless, Strohl said, the data clearly show that those with some post-secondary education still will have an edge.

"The numbers show that more than half require post-secondary education," he said.

Even among the jobs requiring only a high school diploma, one-third will require six months to more than four years of on-the-job training, and two-thirds will require work experience of six months to more than eight years, the study says.

"To use that high school degree to obtain work in the modernizing economy requires commitments to classroom training and informal on-the-job training," Strohl said. "A high school diploma by itself" won't necessarily be enough.

To read the entire article and to access related source documents, go to YouthToday.

Professional Development Opportunities


FREE Energy Classroom Workshop, 8am – 3:30pm, April 7th, 2009,. Boston Museum of Science.

Here is a great opportunity for teachers throughout Massachusetts! ConocoPhillips and NEED (National Energy Education Development) have partnered for the second year to provide teachers in 25 cities across 21 states with curriculum and training opportunities, and are pleased to announce the upcoming one-day energy classroom workshop. This workshop presents a unique opportunity for classroom teachers (K-12) to learn about energy in a fun and exciting way! The seminars will create awareness of today’s energy challenges and the importance of using energy wisely. ALL materials (including a Science of Energy Kit!), substitute re-imbursement, parking and lunch are provided. For more information, or to register, see the event flyer.

stReam (Using Robots to Teach Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) 2009, June 25-26, 2009, iRobot, Bedford, MA.

Classroom robotics offers a unique means to provide hands-on activities to motivate interest in STEM subjects. This workshop will provide educators the opportunity to explore how they might use robotics in their own STEM instruction through interactive sessions as well as through presentations by other educators currently using robotics as a way to teach STEM. Representatives of local technology companies will also describe potential careers for students interested in robotics and STEM disciplines.  Applications are due March 8th, 2009. See event flyer and application for more details.

Boston Museum of Science’s 14th Annual Symposium on Biotechnology Education

Monday, March 30, 2009 from 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. The target audience for this event is grade 7 - 12 educators; there is a $25 registration fee. Join them for a full-day symposium on current approaches to biotechnology education. Learn from leading researchers, biotechnology practitioners, and experienced teachers as they conduct workshops on a variety of current and advanced topics. Visit the site for more information. There is a special web page set up for event registration.

Resources of the Month


College Board

Sure you go there to get information on SAT testing, but have you ever used this site for career planning? You need to dig a bit, but in the Student Portal, under “Find a College” is the option, “Careers and Majors.” This page is rich with information related to various majors or programs of study: career pathways available at different education levels, tips to make the most of high school, related careers and majors, and fun tidbits of related information. Beware: job outlook and compensation information is based on national data (Bureau of Labor Statistics) and not state-specific. Thanks to Angela Evangelista of Bristol Aggie for this recommendation: College Board: Major & Career Profiles.

U.S. Department of Labor Announces the Availability of Apprenticeship Grants.

The U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (ETA), announced the availability of approximately $6.5 million for 10–20 grants to promote the adoption of the 21st century Registered Apprenticeship framework established by the Final Rule published on October 29, 2008 (73 FR 64402). The grants will fund the development and/or adaptation of national guideline standards that incorporate competency-based progression; hybrid-style progression; and/or interim credentials. Funds are also available to train staff, apprenticeship instructors and members on the 21st century Registered Apprenticeship framework and on the development of standards that utilize the elements of the 21st century Registered Apprenticeship framework as established by the Final Rule. National industry and employer associations, labor-management organizations and other organizations that demonstrate the capacity to advance registered apprenticeship through the development of new or modified apprenticeship standards using the elements of the 21st century Registered Apprenticeship framework are eligible to apply. This would be an excellent opportunity for any CVTE program looking to create a pre-apprenticeship program or credential. Download a copy of the announcement: Federal Register. Deadline: March 16, 2009.

Hewlett-Packard Announces 2009 HP Innovations in Education Grants.

I know most of you are aware of this one but I included it just in case. Hewlett-Packard (HP) invites applications for its 2009 HP Innovations in Education Grants for secondary school districts in the United States. The grants are designed to provide funds to school districts to launch innovative pilot initiatives that support the administrators and teachers responsible for student success in math and science in middle schools and/or high schools. Public or qualified private school districts are eligible to apply. Approximately 25 awardees will received grants valued at more than $270,000 in HP technology, cash, and professional development to support innovations in: leadership capacity; digital learning environments; the secondary student design and research experience; and high-tech career awareness. To obtain grant details, program guidelines and an application, visit: HP Innovations in Education. Deadline: March 30.

Articulation Update


Work has begun on the website that will facilitate future articulations

We’re currently looking at both website format and content and are considering three different portals: students, parents, and educators.  We are mocking up a sample and will be soliciting input at both the Implementation (3/11/09) and Advisory (3/20/09) Committee meetings.