On November 2, 2015, the DeRosa Ballroom was packed with both exhibitors and students for the 2015 Speech-Language Pathology Employer Showcase. For approximately 65 students the event was an opportunity to explore different career paths. Meeting the representatives helps students put a face to the name of the different companies and organizations that employ speech-language pathologists. For employees the annual showcase is an opportunity to recruit and connect with those who will become among the best and the brightest in their field.
Joshua Rash ’16 found “The back and forth dialogue was incredibly beneficial in increasing my ability to communicate with other professionals.” When Mackenzie Goold ’16 reflected on her interactions with the exhibitors she said that “It allowed me to further analyze my skills and experience based on their questions.” The Showcase also gives students a greater understanding of the diversity of career paths open to them; from large scale medical corporations to school districts. In addition to local employers, at the event there were exhibitors from as far west as Contra Costa County, as far south as Fresno and as far north as the Sacramento area.
This networking event is equally beneficial to employers. Barbara Taylor, MS, CCC-SLP, is the Vice President of Operations at The Speech Pathology Group (SPG). She explains that SPG is “a California provider of speech/language and behavior intervention services. SPG services pediatric through adult clients” in a wide variety of settings. Taylor finds that the “Recruitment of SLPs is a process that never ends at SPG due to the huge demand for these services. Like other private practices, public schools, non-public agencies and medical settings, SPG is constantly searching for Master’s Level therapists to hire.” She emphasizes, “the demand far exceeds the supply of candidates qualified for employment.”
Taylor expresses her appreciation for the invitation for SPG to participate in the showcase and for “the University’s willingness to coordinate” the event. “Each year SPG looks forward to the University of the Pacific’s Speech-Language Pathology Employer Showcase, as it provides us with an excellent opportunity to meet and chat with graduate students who are currently or will soon be seeking job opportunities. Many of our employees graduated from UOP and they arrive with a strong clinical and educational foundation. It is a pleasure to be a part of their professional growth during their CF (clinical fellowship) year and proudly watch them make significant contributions to our field.”
The U.S. Department of Labor confirms the rapidly growing demand for SLP professionals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2015), “Employment of speech-language pathologists is projected to grow 19 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. As the large baby-boom population grows older, there will be more instances of health conditions that cause speech or language impairments, such as strokes and hearing loss.” In addition, “Increased awareness of speech and language disorders, such as stuttering, in younger children should also lead to a need for more speech-language pathologists who specialize in treating that age group. In addition, medical advances are improving the survival rate of premature infants and victims of trauma and strokes, many of whom need help from speech-language pathologists.”
Exhibitors at this year’s showcase included AFFIRMA Rehabilitation, Aureus Medical Group, BMR Health Services, Centre for Neuro Skills, Comfort Assisting, Inc. – Home Health Agency, Communication Works, EBS Healthcare, myTherapyCompany, Nova Therapies, Progressus Therapy, School Steps Inc., The Speech Pathology Group, Therapy Specialists and Total Education Solutions. Exhibitors from local hospitals came from Kaiser Permanente, Lodi Memorial Hospital/Lodi Health and Sutter Health. Representing schools were Campbell Union School District, Fresno Unified School District, Manteca Unified School District, San Joaquin County Office of Education, Stockton Unified School District, Twin Rivers Unified School District and West Contra Costa Unified School District.
To learn how to become an exhibitor at next year’s showcase contact Susan Webster, Director of Development, at 209.946.3116 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Speech-Language Pathologists, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/speech-language-pathologists.htm (visited October 15, 2015).
By Anne Marie H. Bergthold