As graduation season swings around, many HBCU graduates are trying to figure out the first steps in their careers. One federal agency is hoping they consider a career in government.
As part of the White House Initiative on HBCU schools and graduates, agencies inside the U.S. Department of Labor, including the Women’s Bureau and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), are reaching out to HBCU grads.
Roxanne Griffith, a regional administrator with the women’s bureau, told WTOP that the agency is looking for HBCU grads with a wide range of degrees.
“For example, if someone happens to go to school for women’s studies, that would be beneficial to the Women’s Bureau,” Griffith said.
Griffith added the agency is also looking for HBCU graduates with degrees in political science, business, economics, and STEM. The agency has been holding webinars and career events to inform students and parents about opportunities within the federal government to recruit HBCU grads. The department is also holding a virtual career fair on June 24.
The labor market is at a weird point due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which left millions unemployed overnight, but eventually led to higher wages, benefits, and perks for employers amid a scramble for workers last summer. According to the Associated Press, there were more than 11 million job openings in March alone.
HBCU graduates have also been in high demand since the Black Lives Matter movement and focus on social equity. Large companies in everything from technology, banking and finance, and other industries have been recruiting HBCU talent to fill their open positions and create more diversity in their employee ranks.
Additionally, some companies are creating youth and community partnerships that can lead to HBCU scholarships and a career pipeline after graduating.
HBCU graduates are some of the most accomplished Black men and women in the world. HBCU grads account for 80% of Black judges, 50% of Black lawyers and doctors, and 25% of all Black graduates in STEM.