G. Brian Balazs
An education in science remains a great investment, and employers want the analytical thinking and advanced skills that result from hiring chemistry graduates. However, ongoing changes in the job market have resulted in talented individuals at all degree and career levels unable to find a job in an area that matches their interests and abilities. I believe we can do more to help, and these are the areas I would emphasize:
Work with potential employers to emphasize that chemistry graduates have the discipline and analytical skills employers are looking for
Enable job seekers to identify a broader set of opportunities including “nontraditional employers” while simultaneously providing more tools to address the dynamic nature of the job search environment
Provide students with better means for identifying potential internships and other in-school employment experiences, and better inform them of the value that employers place on direct work experienceCharles E. Kolb, Jr.
Third, we need members prepared to seize the future.
Nearly all of the critical challenges facing our world have significant chemical components. ACS must help our current and future members better understand how their vision and their skills can contribute to a more prosperous and sustainable future. The fact that too many ACS members are unemployed or underemployed, while most global challenges need chemical insight and innovation to be addressed successfully, is a travesty. ACS needs to develop more effective ways to help current and future members orient their interests and capabilities to successfully address critical problems. ACS also needs to motivate both private and public investments to ensure resources exist to fund the science needed for progress.Diane Grob Schmidt
...In order to realize a sustainable future in these crucial and difficult times, we must marshal our resources to bridge the gaps and solve problems. We live in interesting but challenging times. Chemistry is a rewarding profession, but only if you have a job. In the past, our graduates were offered jobs before graduating; now frequently they wait six to nine months or more before finding employment. Even midcareer chemists are concerned about job security and may fear job loss from outsourcing. No wonder our young people show increasing reluctance to select chemistry as their future profession. Further, the public image of chemistry is suffering from media attacks. “Chemicals” is seen as a bad word. Funds for research are being cut....
There are five focus areas where we must concentrate:
Employment. Jobs, jobs, and jobs! This should be our major concern! ACS cannot create jobs but must work to create an atmosphere domestically that encourages growth and the addition of U.S. jobs.
Education. Strong leadership, even a transformational role, in the educational system that prepares our future chemists and chemical engineers for getting, keeping, and growing in their jobs.If you'd like to read their whole statements (who wouldn't?), they are here, here and here.