Hiring good people isn’t just about creating positions within your organization. It’s about developing cooperative ecosystems that build better candidates while they’re still in graduate school. Working locally, you can build relationships that allow talented young people to attend regional universities and work with you. They come to the organization pre-invested in the mission of improving lives in their communities through history because they are from and of those communities. They give struggling regional history departments new energy and a corps of young alumni who are employed, productive, and ready to give back to their department in innumerable ways. Through their success, they prove to their departments that public history isn’t a backup plan but a specialized career that demands skills over and above those taught by conventional academics.
Amanda L. Higgins and Patrick A. Lewis, “Investing in the Ecosystem” AASLH History News 73, no. 1 (Winter 2018): 7-10.