LEWISBURG - Nearly 50 future nurses were given a unique perspective on the local health care industry by eight human resource representatives.

"We brought together a cross section of employers that represent various health care providers for whom our participants may choose to work," said Katherine Vastine, WATCH Project manager.

WATCH (Work Attributes Toward Careers in Health) Project is a federal grant that provides support to individuals as they prepare to enter or advance in a nursing or emergency medical services career.

"It is the goal of the WATCH Project to help our participants and these employers bring the best skilled, dedicated and caring employees into the healthcare field," said Vastine.

Career coordinators are paired with participants to train them with "soft skills" while they're receiving their formal education. The coordinators assist them with developing effective workplace skills like communication and critical thinking.

"There is a constant need for nurses who are dedicated, compassionate individuals who possess a good work ethic," said Joni Bilbay of HCR ManorCare. "And this program is helping to meet that need locally."

Dan McGann of SUN Home Health and Hospice told participants they chose a field with many opportunities.

Representatives from Community Services Group, Family Practice, P.C., Geisinger Health System and Genesis Health Care also presented information about their organizations and discussed current hiring needs. They also addressed the roles of nursing assistants, practical nurses and registered nurses in their businesses.

Keynote speaker Roxie Shrawder of Geisinger Health System gave a presentation on best practices for preparing resumes and participating in interviews.

The WATCH Project is a Health Professions Opportunity Grant awarded by the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). It is administered by the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit in Milton. The program is open to residents of Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder, Tioga and Union counties.

For more information about the WATCH Project, call 1-855-2-WATCH-6 or go to www.csiu.org/watch.