Experience Excellence

at California State University, Chico here.

Economics is a method rather than a doctrine, an apparatus of the mind, a technique of thinking which helps its possessor to draw correct conclusions.
John Maynard Keynes

Chico Economics Graduate Careers - Collective Bargaining

Doug Furman

Doug Furman, who graduated with a BA in Economics in 1978, is harbormaster at Westpoint Harbor LLC in Redwood City, California.  He was one of the first to get a minor in Collective Bargaining from the Economics Department under the leadership of Professor Jay Lyman. Doug worked as an intern for the City of Sacramento for 9 months after he graduated from Chico State.  His internship turned into a full-time job with the City and County of Fresno as assistant to the executive director in charge of human resources where he worked for the next seven and one-half years.  Doug then moved on to be labor relations manager in charge of all negotiations representing management for the City of Fresno where he worked for 8 years.  During that time he was the chief negotiator in the Charter Section 809 case. “This was a State Supreme Court case on negotiations where we prevailed at turning over a Charter section that had previously guaranteed wages to Police and Fire, landmark,” Doug stated in a recent email.

Doug also ran a transit system for three years and did international human resources in the private sector for over eight years with responsibility for over 30 countries.

“Being a Harbormaster is just something fun to do while reducing the stress of full-time work and leaving behind the HR side” Doug stated in a recent email.  “So I would say that I used my "Economics" degree pretty effectively......always considering the opportunity costs to options, and evaluating supply and demand, more on a micro than a macro. I tutored two people who got A's in Economics as well, so Chico couldn't have been all that bad.”  (Last Updated 10/7/17)


metcalfJack Metcalf

Jack Metcalf, who graduated in 1986 with a BA in Economics and a BA in Political Science with a Minor in Collective Bargaining, is a labor relations representative for California State Employees Association (CSEA).  He also received the Smale Award as the most outstanding economics graduate. In 1987 Jack received his MA in Public Administration from Chico.   Jack enrolled at Chico State in 1982 after serving four years in the Navy. 

After completing his MA he accepted a position as labor relations representative for CSEA where he is currently employed.  In 2010 he was promoted to senior labor relations representative.  In 2016 and 2017 Jack worked with the Public Employment Relations Board as a paid graduate intern. 

“My economics degree has been a huge asset in my career,” Jack stated in a recent email.   “My emphasis in college was public sector labor economics.  I now work for a public sector education labor union.  I understand and track economic trends that effect the employers I deal with and my own members.   This helps me stay ahead of trends that affect employment levels and my ability to increase my members’ compensation.   It also helps me to explain to my members when and why funding is just not available to raise compensation to desired levels.  It helps me know as much about the employer’s budget as they know.  Using this knowledge, I am better able to identify areas where adjustments can be made that free up funding for purposes that meet my members’ interests.  I am better able to assist my employers in reaching economies of scale that create more jobs and free up even more funding.  Because I learned math at the highest levels to get my Economics degree, my job is made easier.  It is a highly respected degree among the Business and Education majors I mostly deal with on a weekly basis.  That respect makes my job easier, both in terms of dealing with the numbers and in dealing with highly educated managers, CBO’s and CEO’s.  Of my degrees I have found my Bachelor’s in Economics to be the most valuable, even more so than my Master’s in Labor Relations Administration.  I am lucky to have learned from some great minds in the Economics Department at Chico State, and doubly so because my mentor, Professor Jay Lyman, pointed me toward this career field.”   (Last Updated 9/3/17)


Brandi WolfBrandi Wolf

Brandi Wolf graduated in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in economics with an option in international economics. She is Deputy Policy Director for Service Employees International Union and the United Long Term Care Workers (SEIU- ULTCW).

After graduating from Chico State, Brandi relocated to Sacramento where she began her career in politics and went on to get her Master’s in Government from Sacramento State in 2011. For 3 years she worked as a Legislative Aide in the office of State Senator Curren D. Price, Jr. (D-Los Angeles) where she handled legislative issues relating to Health & Human Services, Business & Professions and the State budget. In May 2011, Brandi took an opportunity with the SEIU ULTCW and currently serves as ULTCW’s Deputy Policy Director, based in Sacramento. ULTCW is an organization representing and advocating on behalf of 180,000 long term care workers in California and is the largest union of long term care givers in the state and the second largest SEIU local in the nation. The scope of Brandi’s work involves public policy research, drafting legislation and working with elected officials to ensure policy protections for the state’s long term care workforce and for California’s working families.

Brandi stated, “A majority of the work I do is driven by the state of California’s economy. My background in economics helps shape my thinking around the policies I draft and allows me to look at the long-run economic impacts of particular public policy. The quality-of-life for working families in California has a direct correlation to economic factors. I am humbled to be given the responsibility to shape public policy in a way that will have the most beneficial economic impact on our state’s working families.”