Harper to host third annual Human Services Conference

March 20, 2014

Human service professionals don’t just help people; they’re in the business of empowering others to thrive. And they’re expected to multiple in number, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which projects a 22 percent increase in human service positions between 2012 and 2022.

Harper College will host its third annual Human Services Conference on Friday, April 4, to showcase its growing associate degree program and inspire students, educators, practitioners and community members.

The event will feature more than 20 sessions relevant to current issues and this year’s theme, “Shining the Light on Underserved Communities.” Nationally renowned author, educator and trauma therapist Mary Jo Barrett will give the luncheon keynote, “Compassion Fatigue.”

Topics include disability as a diversity issue; immigration advocacy; campus dating violence; the autism spectrum revisited; serving veterans dealing with PTSD and substance abuse; and many others.

“America’s aging baby boomer population will add to the career opportunities, and these are jobs you can’t outsource,” said Valerie Walker, coordinator of Harper’s human services program.

The industry encompasses a variety of roles in educational and medical settings, from social work liaisons and youth workers to mental health technicians and senior living aides.

The Human Services Conference will also feature a resource fair and stories of inspiration highlighted through “Project Encouragement,” an initiative by Harper College students who set out to compile local stories of resilience over hardship. The collection is being made into a book that will be available for sale.

The conference will run from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Wojcik Conference Center on Harper’s main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine. The fee is $69 for general admission and $49 for students. To register, visit harpercollege.edu or call 847.925.6300.

Press contact: Kim Pohl, Media Relations Manager, 847.925.6159