Angelina College dedicates new health careers building

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Julie Villani posts job openings for Memorial at the Lufkin human resources office. She said openings aren't the problem, it's finding experienced and educated people to fill the openings.

Angelina College is working to fill those spots, training students in their new Health Careers building.

"We cannot function as a community without health careers and the job market is always there, day, night, anytime of the day, hours you would want to work," former Angelina College Nursing Program Director Millicent Irish said. "There's jobs there and without this program, we could not have kept the hospital doors open in deep East Texas."

Although health care has not been shielded completely from the economic downturn, students are training to move into a field experts say is more stable in a faulty economy.

Many, like 50-year-old Dorothy Richards are on their second career.

"Health care will never stop," Richards said. "Nurses will never cease to exist because people will always need someone like us to care for them."

"In health care, especially in nursing, the demand is so outrageous that I feel that even in 10, 20 years, I'll still have the ability to work as long as I have good health," said nursing student Reed Perkins.

From operating room experience to paramedic training, patient simulators allow students to prepare for the real world.

"When you come into a health career, you realize that some form of health care is going to be necessary," Angelina College Vice President and Dean of Instruction Patricia McKenzie said. "It is not exactly the same. The population is not the same, but you recognize that always there will be health problems and you will need health care providers."

"I wouldn't say health care is Recession-proof, but it's definitely a stable job because people are always going to get sick and they're always going to need surgery," Memorial HR Specialist and Recruiter Villani said.

Villani is thankful for this state-of-the-art building and the chance to recruit well-trained graduates close to home.

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