Although chemists, with an unemployment rate usually one-half the national average, have generally fared better than other workers in the U.S., I am alarmed that—unlike the overall national trend—unemployment for chemists increased. In 2010, the average unemployment rate for American Chemical Society chemists was 3.8%. In March 2011, that rate climbed to 4.6%—the highest number on record (C&EN, March 26, page 10). Even more troubling is the unemployment rate for recent chemistry graduates, which is now 10.7%. Without the ability to provide good jobs to recent graduates, the future of the chemical enterprise is in jeopardy.
ACS is dedicated to reversing these trends, both by helping chemical professionals find work and by expanding the chemical enterprise and creating new jobs. If you are currently looking for work, the best place to start is ACS Careers. We offer a broad range of services not only to help you find a job but also build your job-search skills and create a rewarding career.ACS is making a push towards getting members involved in job creation as follows:
ACS Entrepreneurship Initiative: Recently launched, the ACS Entrepreneurship Initiative (www.acs.org/ei) is dedicated to helping ACS members transform their innovative ideas into successful business ventures while creating jobs in the U.S. for chemical professionals. The initiative has already resulted in two programs, with more on the way, to support ACS entrepreneurs in all facets of planning, launching, and building their entrepreneurial ventures.
ACS Entrepreneurial Training Program: ACS has partnered with Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s FastTrac program to offer an Entrepreneurial Training Program that stimulates innovation and entrepreneurship, offering three curricula that correspond to the needs of members at different stages in their entrepreneurial plans. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re an established entrepreneur looking to optimize your venture’s performance, you should apply to receive a $500 scholarship toward a 30-hour FastTrac course.
ACS Entrepreneurial Resources Center: Coming in June 2012, the ACS Entrepreneurial Resources Center will enable approved applicants to support the development and launch of their entrepreneurial plans with free access to all ACS journals and Chemical Abstracts Service’s SciFinder. Participants can take advantage of the professional services of ACS’s legal, marketing, finance, human resources, information technology, and other outside support teams at low or no cost. In your application, you must present a feasible entrepreneurial plan that creates innovative products and services and jobs for chemical professionals in the U.S.I confess that I view this drive towards encouraging entrepreneurship with some level of skepticism. That said, if the choice is between not working or starting your own company, I suppose starting your own company is the better choice. Best wishes to us all.
If you’re looking for your next job or to create new jobs with your own entrepreneurial venture, ACS resources are here to help you. Take advantage of what your professional society has to offer!