Capps to host Skype discussion with U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services at Alan Hancock College

U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius will participate by Skype in a roundtable discussion Monday at Allan Hancock College about job opportunities for health care workers.

Projections show health care jobs will grow by 3.2 million between 2008 and 2018, more than any other industry, according to Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, who will host the forum. The industry has accounted for one-third of private sector job growth in the past three months, Capps wrote in a news release.

Speakers will highlight job opportunities for those attending community colleges, such as Hancock and Cuesta College.

Capps wrote that the federal government has jump-started a number of initiatives to make it easier for students to pursue a career in the health care field, including loan forgiveness if they choose to work in an underserved area.

On the Central Coast, portions of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties — including parts of Paso Robles, Santa Maria, Guadalupe, Lompoc and Orcutt — have been designated as areas in need of greater access to primary medical, dental and behavioral health care, she wrote.

Other participants will include Dr. Penny Borenstein, health officer and director of the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department, and Kena Burke, community and government relations officer for Community Health Centers of the Central Coast, as well as other hospital, nursing and education leaders. The event will run from 12:45 to 2 p.m. at the student center: G 106.