has written 1 SperlingViews. Currently, MC is living in Kyle, TX and has a little something to say:
Chasing a healthy economy Posted On: 3/29/2011 9:59:23 AM
Austin is a lovely city, with friendly people and a terrific social and cultural scene. My son and I are heartbroken after relocating from New England only seven months ago and, as of three weeks ago, being forced to return to the northeast and its, hopefully, reviving economy. We arrived in a south Austin suburb in July of 2010, hugely optimistic about my finding a teaching or paraprofessional job in an elementary school in one of the six accessible public school districts. We moved in temporarily with my cousin and started looking at potential home investments in the area. My pre-relocation research had confirmed that the economic forecasts for the greater Austin area dubbed it one of the best areas to find a job during the recession, even the State Department of Education website had posted a notice calling for teachers to come to Texas through 2010, then extended through 2014. In addition to having family living in the area, I was drawn to greater Austin by my military service in San Antonio several years earlier, my love of Hill Country, the Democratic majority, the cost of housing, and the relatively low crime rate in comparison to other major U.S. cities. Although my son thrived in the public school system, I learned very quickly that I was competing with an enormous population of out-of-state transplants and local state university college grads. Only four months after my arrival, the two school districts that I subbed for issued substitute teacher hiring freezes followed by teacher hiring freezes, and then pink-slipped contracted teachers and started closing schools. Prior to earning my teacher certification and masters degree, I worked as an executive assistant and paralegal so, I sent out close to 40 applications to government and private industry human resource departments. I received three letters of acknowledgement and one opportunity for an interview. WorkForce in Texas and the other local placement agencies I registered with in the Austin-San Marcos area were not able to set me up with a single interview. I was told the job market had simply dried up. I worked for two weeks in a short-term, temporary assignment at one of the local state universities and met dozens of educated transplants from California, Nevada and New England, all of whom were discouraged after two or more years of searching for a full time job, and who were considering returning to their respective home states. As Austin appears to be succumbing only now to the recession, I hope it bounces back sooner than other parts of the country where employment opportunities started dwindling three years ago. I still think about the five houses I picked out in one particular development when I first arrived, hoping that I would be able to buy one once I was gainfully employed. When my son and I left Austin, all five houses were still on the market. This area will be a gold-mine for prospective homeowners once the economy has stabilized. As far as the job market for teachers goes, now is not the time to seek jobs in Texas.