New ACS Careers Programs Help Ensure Economic And Professional Success | November 17, 2008 Issue - Vol. 86 Issue 46 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 86 Issue 46 | p. 79 | ACS Comments
Issue Date: November 17, 2008

New ACS Careers Programs Help Ensure Economic And Professional Success

By Martin L. Gorbaty, Chair, Committee on Economic & Professional Affairs
Department: ACS News
Credit: David Harwell
Credit: David Harwell

THE CURRENT ECONOMIC SITUATION has caused much uncertainty and worry for ACS members and others within the chemical enterprise. New graduates are experiencing greater difficulty in obtaining full-time employment, and many mid- to late-career chemists are transitioning from one job to the next. Mergers, acquisitions, and consolidations are again reshaping the chemical landscape, and business cycles once measured in years are best calibrated on a much shorter timescale.

As we face uncertain economic times, it is important that each of us position ourselves as competitively as we can to be successful. Today's workplace requires ingenuity, flexibility, and continuous professional development from its practitioners. It also requires a practical understanding of current business practices. To help ensure the continued prosperity and success of our members and the companies for which they work, the Committee on Economic & Professional Affairs (CEPA) is pleased to announce the addition of two new programs to the ACS Careers portfolio.

Through a collaborative partnership with Harvard Business Publishing, ACS is offering a suite of 42 introductory online business and management skills courses through the new ACS Center for Professional Development. The course library includes topics such as Career Management, Negotiating, Leading and Motivating, Presentation Skills, Strategic Thinking, Team Leadership, Time Management, and many other high-quality courses. At $25 per course, this offering is substantially discounted for our members. Even lower rates are available for members who are currently unemployed. To enroll in one of these courses or to find out more about the topics covered, go to

The ACS Careers Industry Forum is a monthly teleconference featuring luminaries from the chemical industry who speak about economic and other trends affecting employment. This is a free service of the society. The series debut in September featured Magid Abou-Gharbia, professor of medicinal chemistry and director of the Center for Drug Discovery Research at the Temple University School of Pharmacy. Abou-Gharbia, who recently ended a 26-year career with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals to join the faculty at Temple, discussed strategies for a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry. The October forum featured Carolyn Ribes of Dow Benelux, in the Netherlands, who spoke about the challenges and opportunities of working abroad. And this month, Michael Strem, president of Strem Chemicals, talks about the differences between small and large companies. The next forum, which will be held in January, will showcase incoming ACS President Thomas H. Lane, who is director of global science and technology outreach at Dow Corning. To sign up for upcoming ACS Careers Industry Forum teleconferences, visit the ACS Careers blog at

As we face uncertain economic times, it is important that each of us position ourselves as competitively as we can to be successful.

CEPA is also proud to support the ACS Network, a professional networking tool for the global chemistry community hosted by the society. Combined with our already successful ACS Careers Job database, the ACS Network promises to be one of the most empowering tools for today's job seekers. The addition of ACS Global Partners to the ACS Network will make it even more powerful. ACS Global Partners are those with electronic access to ACS journal subscriptions through their library or other institution. To use these tools in concert, simply search and apply for jobs from the job database and then conduct a search within the ACS Network for people working at your potential employer. To join or use the ACS Network, follow the link on the ACS homepage,

HEALTH CARE and health insurance were identified as the top workforce concerns of ACS members. In response to this issue, CEPA, in conjunction with the Office of Public Affairs (OPA), developed a public policy statement, which the ACS Board of Directors subsequently approved. The policy advocates the removal of barriers to allow national association health care plans. In addition, CEPA will work with OPA to obtain additional information from Legislative Action Network members about workforce issues and concerns.

These new services complement existing ACS programs that offer ACS members a means to remain competitive in a changing economic environment. For example, ACS members benefit from weekly issues of C&EN, including the special "Employment Outlook," published in the Nov. 3 issue. To sharpen and increase marketable technical skills, continuing education courses are available both in person and on the Web at a discount to ACS members. Membership in ACS technical divisions provides a network of colleagues in your own discipline of chemistry.

CEPA continues to monitor the economic and professional status of our members, and it is working to create additional programs, products, and services with the chief goal of enabling the professional success of society members in the U.S. and abroad.


Views expressed on this page are those of the author and not necessarily those of ACS.

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