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Jobs Picture Looking Up for CalSWEC Grads

The outlook for CalSWEC graduates may be brighter than California’s economic picture. Many 2011 graduates already have found employment. (View or download “2011 CalSWEC Graduates Employed as of January 2012.”)

Evidence of a tighter, more competitive job market is apparent in the first quarter/trimester data, which show fewer graduates securing employment. By the end of September, 73% of the Mental Health Program 2011 graduates were employed in county or contract mental health agencies, and as of January, 79% of the Title IV-E MSW 2011 cohort found jobs in public child welfare. (View or download “Percent of CalSWEC Graduates Hired By Cohort and Semester of Hire – Jan. 2012”.)

Because county child welfare agencies, the primary employers for Title IV-E graduates, have been hit hard by funding cutbacks, CalSWEC’s Board of Directors and staff continue to support Title IV-E graduate search efforts on a number of fronts:

  • CalSWEC IV-E Workforce Development Coordinator Donna Thoreson has been visiting counties and school sites to identify jobs that are and will be available as well as to facilitate communication between CalSWEC schools, graduates, and counties.
  • CalSWEC’s Twitter and Facebook pages keep the Title IV-E graduates current about new county openings.
  • A number of counties recently have announced new job openings, promising news for those still involved in the job search.

Mental Health Program graduates may work in either a county-operated or a contract behavioral health agency to meet their employment obligation; since 2009, they can also volunteer in an eligible agency in lieu of a paid full- or part-time position. A new trend is for graduates to find payback employment in a contract setting.

Although county behavioral health agencies have suffered cutbacks in recent years in state and federal funding, Mental Health Services Act revenues have helped to provide new job opportunities.