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Susan Seaman

Arcata Economic Development Corporation, Program Director

When I first came to Humboldt to attend HSU, I felt like I was in a bubble on campus. I had what I needed there and I didn’t venture out much. It wasn’t until I landed a job at the Natural History Museum that I connected with the larger community and realized I wanted to make a life for myself in Humboldt. 


Back then, like most of my classmates, I wanted to stick around after graduation but didn’t have any plans for it.  I didn’t think there would be an opportunity.  I think that still holds true with many of today’s students. There’s an assumption that there are no jobs here, and that they can make a lot more money living somewhere else. Even though it may be the case they can get paid more elsewhere, often the quality of life just isn’t the same.

Job scarcity over the years has led to a lot of  creative entrepreneurship, though; students who do feel connected to Humboldt will find a way to stay, and carve out a career for themselves.  So many of the businesses we love came from Humboldt graduates. The career path here may not be the  most straightforward, but I think it can be fun. It’s almost like a pinball machine; you have to bounce around, try out different things and find what works and what doesn’t, but that experience is ultimately so valuable.

I do believe that our local job market is expanding and students are starting to realize they can make a life here. I also think there are more concerted efforts to create workforce pathways from K-12 through college, that prepare our students for the workforce we need. I look back and think I am so grateful I took that job at the Natural History Museum as a way to connect with my community. Even though it’s not what I do now, it really allowed me to find myself and my home. 


Susan Seaman

Arcata Economic Development Corporation,  Program Director 

Susan Seaman
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