Brockport, N.Y.—Jay Clifford has only been in class for a week, but the college senior is anxious to start his new career. Clifford will graduate from the College at Brockport in May.
His dream is to teach English at his alma mater, Hilton High School and later become an administrator.
“It’s a career path, you do what you want and make it work,” said Clifford.
While attending classes at Brockport, Clifford works as a salesman for Sears in Greece.
“I happen to like it a lot,” explained Clifford. “It’s not what I’m going to school for by any means.”
A spring report by the Economic Policy Institute said the unemployment rate for young college graduates is 9.4 percent. The national unemployment rate measures the percentage of the labor force that is unemployed.
Declining enrollment has hit teachers hard in districts in the Rochester area.
In spring, Greece eliminated nearly 18 jobs. The Rochester City School District cut more than 100, but restored many of them, according to Rochester Teachers Association President, Adam Urbanski.
“You really have to be aggressive, maybe more aggressive than other fields,” said Anna Lampanaro, a 2012 graduate of Roberts Wesleyan College.
Lampanaro works a total of 80 hours per week split between Plato’s Closet and Tim Hortons.
It’s been less than four months since she left school, but pressure to find a job in her field has been mounting.
“I definitely feel a little bit of it and see a little bit of it,” Lampanaro said.
There are more than 650,000 teachers statewide according to labor statistics, but breaking in, during this economy has been a challenge for many, including Lampanaro.
“Loans start coming in and you feel like, ‘I went to school and I have all these loans, something has to come out of it,’ Lampanaro said.
Both Clifford and Lampanaro said they are content with their current jobs and while they haven’t ruled out traveling elsewhere to work, their respective dreams are to stay in Rochester and build their careers.