Department of Economics

Jack Metcalf

  • Graduated: 1986
  • Field: Collective Bargaining

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(opens in new window) (CSEA).  He also received the Smale Award* as the most outstanding economics graduate. In 1987 Jack received his MA in Public Administration (PDF) 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(opens in new window) 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)

Portrait of Jack Metcalf