Fort Walton Beach Medical Center
(FWBMC) leadership volunteered with CareerSource Okaloosa Walton
(CSOW) to educate teenagers about healthcare career opportunities and pathways within the hospital.
Every year, CSOW has a three-week summer youth employment program that focuses on developing and practicing employment readiness and interpersonal workforce skills. This year the program was called Building the Workforce of Tomorrow. FWBMC’s chief operating officer Todd Jackson and chief nursing officer Caroline Stewart spent four days talking to youth in Fort Walton Beach and Crestview about career pathways in healthcare and the schooling needed to make that dream a reality. All programs were held at the HSU Innovation Institute.
“It was a terrific opportunity to speak about healthcare careers to our youth,” said Jackson. “They are the future and I enjoyed their enthusiasm and curiosity.”
In the first week of the program, CSOW provided employment readiness workshops that prepared the youth participants for immediate work experience placement as well as first time employment.
In the second week, the youth were assigned to a work experience placement with one of 27 area employers. The hands-on work experience activity was closely monitored and evaluated by CSOW Career Advisors and employer assigned worksite supervisors.
The final week concluded with a discussion of the lessons learned at the participant’s assigned work experience placement, additional employment readiness workshops, guest speakers representing area employers, CPR certification, SafeStaff food handling certification, and activities designed to increase positive interpersonal communication, team building and a connection to the local labor market.