Comstock's magazine 1218 - December 2018 - Page 49

one of the country’s oldest and largest nonprofit transfusion medicine organizations, and last November, Gresens live- streamed a Nepris-powered presentation to students from Oakmont High School in Roseville — part of a yearlong cur- riculum that let them explore health-care and medtech ca- reers. Convincing more students to take up a health career would be a win for them and the local economy, given that the number of health-care jobs in the region has increased by more than 20 percent since 2012 at a time when the num- ber of students getting health-related degrees has fallen by more than 5 percent. In a video of the session available on Nepris’ website, Gre- sens runs through a PowerPoint about Vitalant’s work, de- scribes the science of blood, and talks about how to break into a medical career. Then he stops for questions. “I’d like to know what a regular day for you is?” asks a teacher. Students want technical details: “You mentioned washing red blood cells. How do you do that and why?” “In the case of a hemophiliac, do you use preventive medicine, like giving them transfusions of platelets, or do you wait till there’s an incident to do so?” In a video that CRANE produced about the event, one Oakmont student says that beyond the technical material, it was valuable to get to know Gresens because, “his expe- rience inspired us to finish college and do what we want to do,” she tells the camera. Now CRANE’s experiment is about to reach more stu- dents with the help of another economic development non- profit. Align Capital Region brings together volunteers to tackle systemic challenges to the region’s economic well-be- ing. In October, the organization launched Nepris-enabled virtual classroom presentations by local industry leaders in 10 schools and is recruiting more schools and professionals to join. Even before the streaming tech platform, Align had al- ready facilitated interactions between about 5,500 students and industry professionals, says David Inniss, Align’s inter- im president and CEO. Now that it’s in place, he says, “My goal is to multiply that number by 10.” n Steven Yoder writes about business, real estate and criminal justice. His work has appeared in The Fiscal Times, Salon, The American Prospect and elsewhere. On Twitter @syodertweet and at December 2018 | 49