Opportunities may be found at home

Published 1:47 am Friday, May 10, 2013

Graduation season is upon us — and by “us” we mean graduates of high schools, colleges and universities.

While family members, friends, co-workers and others acquainted with this year’s graduates are busy buying graduation gifts, most graduates are looking for jobs. Some high-school graduates are seeking summer jobs before heading off to an institution of higher learning come late August or early September. Other high-school graduates will be seeking full-time employment as they try to find a place in the work force. Some high-school graduates will be entering the military. College graduates, for the most part, will be hunting full-time jobs.

With double-digit unemployment rates the norm in Beaufort County during the past several years and a limping economy as a result of the Great Recession, finding those summer jobs and full-time jobs may be difficult in Beaufort County and anywhere else for that matter. College graduates with student loans to pay off particularly will be looking high and low for jobs.

In this area, the job market doesn’t offer as many opportunities as “the big city.” Many local graduates, many of them talented and well-educated, will migrate to “the big city” to find jobs they desire and that will pay them well, too. That migration of talent and education isn’t good for the area.

Yes, this area does provide some excellent career opportunities for local graduates, but it’s safe bet that the number of local graduates outnumber those excellent opportunities. We would like to think that most local graduates are looking for careers in their hometowns, but that is not likely to happen. The lures of “the big city,” with all its social, recreational, career and educational opportunities, beckon many of our best and brightest graduates.

This area can and must compete with “the big city” when it comes to attracting the best and brightest among our young adults. The area needs what those young adults have to offer.

Here’s a challenge to each graduate from the area: Give your hometown — even a neighboring city or town — a chance at offering good jobs to you before you consider looking for that great job elsewhere. You’ve already got a support network at home that can help you transition from graduate to a career.

Charity starts at home. So do career opportunities.