WMCTC Administrative Director Chris Moritzen talks about the coming sports medicine course
LIMERICK PA – Business is booming in sports medicine, with a recent report claiming the industry will provide a global public with services and products valued at about $8 billion by 2020. With proper training and guidance, students attending Spring-Ford Area, Pottsgrove, and Upper Perkiomen schools can benefit from some of that explosive growth, according to the Western Montgomery Career and Technology Center.
It’s why the center, which provides career education to all three school districts from its complex at 77 Graterford Rd., is launching a new sports medicine course for the 2017-2018 school year. Applications are being taken now from students interested in pursuing the career path, and its Joint Operating Committee has backed it with a substantial investment in what Administrative Director Chris Moritzen calls a “brand new, state-of-the-art,” well-equipped laboratory.
- Watch a video (above), in which center Administrative Director Chris Moritzen talks about the program’s intent to reach a growing job market for those attending Pottsgrove, Spring-Ford Area, and Upper Perkiomen schools. It also can be seen at The Post’s YouTube channel, here.
“We have re-created a top of the line, Division 1 athletic training room and physical therapy room here at the Western Center,” he said proudly. “Looking at labor needs in the area, and across the country, this profession is on the rise,” he added, and claimed the course is one of only a handful like it being offered anywhere at the high school level in Pennsylvania.
To acquaint students and their parents with the facility, the center will hold an open house for visitors tonight (Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016) from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, and the first 150 students to arrive will receive a free T-shirt that displays the program’s new logo.
- This event has been added to The Post Publications calendar.
Kinesiology is the study of body movement mechanics, and that’s the technical field the program’s students will explore and train for. In practical terms, it supplies the potential for employment in athletic training and physical therapy careers with athletic teams, hospitals, corporate wellness programs, strength and conditioning centers, clinical rehabilitation programs, and fitness clubs. Federal labor statistics indicate “a 28-percent growth in these types of jobs” over the next 10 years, Moritzen noted.
Additionally, Moritzen said the program is designed as a “strong foundation” for students pursuing college and advanced degrees in exercise science, or physical or occupational therapy. He expects it will involve, depending on the discipline, between 40 and 100 clinical training hours. “What’s that mean for our students who attend here?,” he asked rhetorically. “When you walk out of this building … you’ll have clinical experience and be a step ahead of everyone else going into those classes.”
College grads might expect to start new jobs with salaries of between $30,000 and $40,000 annually, he predicted. Hands-on training the center expects to provide its students “will make them more marketable,” he added.
Not everyone will go to college, but the program antcipates that too. “Our students have the world at their fingertips when they leave here,” Moritzen said, “and they have a lot of options. The great part about this program is that students can walk out of here and be a physical therapy assistant, and walk right into that position earning anywhere from $15 to $20 an hour, depending on where they’re working.”
“You’ll have a skill that you can get out of here and earn a life-sustaining wage,” he said.