We found an interesting commentary in ArchitectMagazine.com on a particularly poignant predicament being faced by today’s architecture students upon graduating into an job environment rife with recession pains.
As editor Ned Cramer writes, “Job stats for building design and construction look even worse than the national average. A survey by AIA Nevada, for instance, reports 65 percent industry unemployment in Las Vegas…But an exquisite kind of pain is reserved for current architecture students and recent grads, who are entering the workforce with profoundly limited prospects in their chosen profession.”
Cramer bemoans the fact that the initial government stimulus package had many Americans “dreaming up WPA-style programs to get architects back to work, making an honest living by designing solutions to some of our country’s most pressing problems. That hasn’t happened, at least not nearly to the degree so many of us had hoped.”
“Where are all the commissions for new, net zero community centers, schools, libraries, post offices, and train stations? Why aren’t firms hiring again, flush with government projects? Just as importantly, where are the 21st century equivalents of FDR’s HABS (the Historic American Buildings Survey), which sent out-of-work architects around the country to draw up plans of national landmarks?
At this point, I’m highly doubtful that the federal government will be coming to architecture’s rescue…but the profession must do its best to bridge the gap. Our first priority should be fostering the next generation, ensuring that a lack of jobs today doesn’t result in mass defections of skill and passion to other, less beleaguered professions. The talent emerging from our architecture schools is too valuable to waste.”
How can you help? Check out “Stimulus for Students” to see how you can help these young creatives make a difference.