VA Medical Center Career Day helps students prep for the future

IRON MOUNTAIN — The Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center hosted hundreds of high school students from around the U.P. for their 8th annual VA Career Day.

It all started with one school 8 years ago and by word of mouth has kept growing over the years.

Students from around the Upper Peninsula got hands on experience from 30 different career fields, which are housed within the VA Medical Center.

The VA Career Day is not only important to the students, but for the community as a whole.

“A large percentage of us will be retiring in the next 5–10 years. It is important for our communities here in the U.P. to have employees here at the VA Medical Center. So they can continue to serve our veterans in the excellent manner that we are serving them now,” said Brad Nelson, Public Affairs Officer.

Representatives from each career field came together to show students hands on experience of the kind on work they do every day.

“Our employees are really excited about this. They get so excited about putting together the booth; they get excited about the students coming though. It’s not just all in all we have to do this. They are passionate about what they do,” Nelson added.

Students used the career fair as an opportunity to see what they want to do after high school and plan ahead.

“I’m interested in marketing, but I wanted to come here and get more ideas of what is going on. You get to see what there is to a hospital, it’s not just nurses and things like that. There is a lot more to it,” said Dalton Hanchek, Senior at North Central.

This also helps students get guidance and direction on choosing their career path.

“The teachers, the staff, want to see them succeed and go into what they choose to do for a living. I’m pretty sure it makes their parents proud too,” said Bruce Tapio, Superintendent for North Central area schools.

The Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center plans to continue with the Career Day for years to come.