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Career and Education Opportunities for Social Service Coordinators in Fort Smith, Arkansas

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for social service coordinators in the Fort Smith, Arkansas area. There are currently 1,600 jobs for social service coordinators in Arkansas and this is projected to grow by 23% to about 1,970 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for social service coordinators, which sees this job pool growing by about 13.8% over the next eight years. In general, social service coordinators plan, organize, or coordinate the activities of a social service program or community outreach organization.

A person working as a social service coordinator can expect to earn about $20 hourly or $43,460 yearly on average in Arkansas and about $26 per hour or $55,980 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Specialized Management, people working as social service coordinators in Arkansas earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Specialized Management nationally. Jobs in this field include: grant manager, director of field service, and volunteer services director.

There are nine schools of higher education in the Fort Smith area, including three within twenty-five miles of Fort Smith where you can get a degree to start your career as a social service coordinator. Social service coordinators usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so it will take about four years to learn to be a social service coordinator if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Social Service Coordinator

In general, social service coordinators plan, organize, or coordinate the activities of a social service program or community outreach organization. They also oversee the program or organization's budget and policies regarding participant involvement, program requirements, and benefits.

Social service coordinators furnish direct service and support to individuals or clients, such as handling a referral for child advocacy issues, conducting a needs evaluation, or resolving complaints. They also direct efforts of professional and technical staff members and volunteers. Equally important, social service coordinators have to establish and maintain relationships with other agencies and organizations in community to meet community needs and to insure that services are not duplicated. They are often called upon to evaluate the work of staff and volunteers to insure that programs are of appropriate quality and that resources are used effectively. They are expected to ready and maintain records and reports, such as budgets or training manuals. Finally, social service coordinators establish and oversee administrative procedures to meet objectives set by boards of directors or senior management.

Every day, social service coordinators are expected to be able to speak clearly. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for social service coordinators to speak to community groups to explain and interpret agency purposes and policies. They are often called upon to implement and evaluate staff, volunteer, or community training programs. They also formulate and administer budgets for programs, equipment and support services. They are sometimes expected to act as consultants to agency staff and other community programs regarding the interpretation of program-related federal and county regulations and policies. Somewhat less frequently, social service coordinators are also expected to direct fundraising efforts and the preparation of public relations materials.

Social service coordinators sometimes are asked to recruit and hire or sign up volunteers and staff. They also have to be able to research and analyze member or community needs to establish program directions and goals and represent organizations in relations with governmental and media institutions. And finally, they sometimes have to implement and evaluate staff, volunteer, or community training programs.

Like many other jobs, social service coordinators must have exceptional integrity and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Fort Smith include:

  • Construction Foreman. Plan, direct, or budget, usually through subordinate supervisory personnel, activities concerned with the construction and maintenance of structures, facilities, and systems. Participate in the conceptual development of a construction project and oversee its organization, scheduling, and implementation.
  • Food Service Manager. Plan, direct, or coordinate activities of an organization or department that serves food and beverages.
  • Natural Resources Specialist. Plan, direct, or coordinate activities in such fields as life sciences, physical sciences, and research and development in these fields.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Social Service Coordinator Training

Kiamichi Technology Center-Spiro - Spiro, OK

Kiamichi Technology Center-Spiro, 610 SW 3rd, Spiro, OK 74959. Kiamichi Technology Center-Spiro is a small school located in Spiro, Oklahoma. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 85 students. Kiamichi Technology Center-Spiro has a two to four year program in Business Administration and Management which graduated one student in 2008.

Carl Albert State College - Poteau, OK

Carl Albert State College, 1507 S McKenna, Poteau, OK 74953-5208. Carl Albert State College is a small college located in Poteau, Oklahoma. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,454 students. Carl Albert State College has an associate's degree program in Business Administration and Management which graduated sixty-seven students in 2008.

University of Arkansas-Fort Smith - Fort Smith, AR

University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, 5210 Grand Ave, Fort Smith, AR 72913-3649. University of Arkansas-Fort Smith is a medium sized university located in Fort Smith, Arkansas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,846 students and an admission rate of 62%. University of Arkansas-Fort Smith has less than one year, one to two year, and bachelor's degree programs in Business Administration and Management which graduated nineteen, five, and eighty students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence: The Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence is a professional who leads and champions process-improvement initiatives’ everywhere from small businesses to multinational corporations’ that can have regional or global focus in a variety of service and industrial settings.

For more information, see the American Society for Quality website.

Certified in Volunteer Administration: In the constantly changing contemporary work environment, the standard of best practices in volunteer management must remain at the highest level of expertise possible.

For more information, see the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration website.

Business and Employer Services - Professional Certification: Professional certification exam for Business and Employer Services in workforce development.

For more information, see the Dynamic Works Institute website.

Certified Manager: Certified Manager certification is valued for the credibility and recognition it brings to managers and the organizations for which they work.

For more information, see the Institute of Certified Professional Managers website.

Certified Manager of Community Associations: The Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA) is the only national certification program designed exclusively for managers of homeowner and condominium associations and cooperatives.

For more information, see the National Board of Certification for Community Association Managers website.

Program Management Professional: Project Management Institute's newest credential is specifically developed to acknowledge the qualifications of the professional who leads the coordinated management of multiple projects and ensures the ultimate success of a program.

For more information, see the Project Management Institute website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Fort Smith, Arkansas

Fort Smith, Arkansas
Fort Smith, Arkansas photo by Infrogmation

Fort Smith is located in Sebastian County, Arkansas. It has a population of over 84,716, which has grown by 5.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Fort Smith, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Fort Smith are priced at $151,400 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, two hundred one new homes were constructed in Fort Smith, down from two hundred ninety-four the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Fort Smith are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is food, construction, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 17 minutes. More than 18.6% of Fort Smith residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.7%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Fort Smith is 8.1%, which is greater than Arkansas's average of 6.9%.

The percentage of Fort Smith residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 68.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Mallalieu United Methodist Church, Loves Chapel Seventh Day Adventist Church and King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church are among the churches located in Fort Smith. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Fort Smith is home to the Fort Smith Trolly Museum and the Fort Smith Inter-Faith Community Center as well as Riverfront Park and Kay Rodgers Park. Shopping centers in the area include Laville Shopping Center, Maybranch Shopping Center and Midland Mall Shopping Center. Visitors to Fort Smith can choose from Patel P L, Westark Inn Motel and Stonewall Jackson Inn for temporary stays in the area.