CARSON CITY, Nev. (Carson City School District) - Last year, the global pandemic proved challenging to businesses and organizations across the state, country and world. Now with unemployment incentives still lingering statewide, many local school districts cannot find people to fill open positions including full-time, benefited positions.
The Carson City School District said one reason for the lack of candidates as of late, is due to the COVID-19 pandemic, where state and federal unemployment programs have hampered filling full-time and part-time positions, even benefited positions.
“The federal and state response to the COVID-19 pandemic has incentivized individuals to stay home, out of the workforce, and draw from unemployment,” said Associate Superintendent Jose Delfin, who oversees the Human Resources Department for the Carson City School District. “Of course, last year, when people could not physically leave their homes, that made sense. But now as we are reopening more fully, many positions continue to remain vacant.”
Additionally, with the state’s new school funding mechanism projecting flat or decreased funding in Nevada for the next several years, many districts are “belt-tightening.” However, there are necessary operational positions that still need to be filled.
Last night at the school board meeting, trustees approved significant pay increases to part-time positions. The Carson City School District currently has open positions for:
- Nutrition Workers
- Bus Drivers
- Administrative Assistants
“We are in grave need of workers at this point,” Delfin said. “Currently, the district employs 950 full-time and 225 part-time staff members. Of the 360 educational support personnel working for the school district, 100 staffers work 40 hours a week for 12 months. The other 260 personnel average 30 to 35 hours a week for 10/11 months.
The district has taken a pro-active approach since the last recession with wage studies, reclassification of jobs and increased salaries. All full-time, benefitted employees earn retirement and health benefits. A beginning bus driver working full-time with no experience now makes $14.32 an hour with full benefits. A nutrition employee working full-time with no experience now makes $13.65 an hour with full benefits, or part-time earning $11.76 an hour. A starting custodian working full-time with no experience now makes $13.91 an hour with full benefits and substitute custodian can earn $13.65 an hour. Crossing guards will now earn $11.76 an hour. Many school districts in Nevada do not even employ crossing guards and rely solely on community volunteers or teaching staff to assist with guard duties.
The benefits package also helps recruit employees and it’s available for those who work 30-plus hours a week, including the transportation department where they work 20 hours per week and earn health and retirement benefits. Some districts in Nevada don’t offer benefits to their transportation employees.
The school district also tries to keep a pool of 60 dependable substitute teachers at the elementary, middle and high school levels, along with needing a few substitute nurses each year, Delfin said.
For those who are interested in applying, please visit carsoncityschools.com.
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