NC school systems work to fill hundreds of vacancies as COVID cases surge again

Local News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Every school system in North Carolina is working to fill job openings just as the delta variant is leading to more and more infections.

“Districts across the state have large numbers of vacancies right now,” said Lillian McDavid, personnel supervisor for Cumberland County Schools.

Cumberland County is no exception as it is holding a series of job fairs to fill around 170 positions.

“Even with the rain today, we’ve had quite a few to come out today,” said McDavid.

At the same time, school leaders are making sure every staff member understands all COVID-related protocols.

Some have changed due to the vaccine.

“We are just taking any questions that our staff may have in making sure that they feel comfortable with what we’re doing moving forward,” said Shirley Bolden, director of Health Services.

They are also working to fill open positions for school nurses to help with any child or staff member who may be having COVID symptoms or have other medical needs.

“We expect to have a solid team when school opens but it is a challenge to recruit people at this time,” said Bolden.

To say COVID stretched emergency department and intensive care nurses to their limit would be an understatement.

Now hospitals are also facing their own challenge to fill thousands of nursing positions across North Carolina.

Some are even offering large bonuses if they are hired.

While it may be seen as competition, Bolden sees it as an advantage.

“The work hours are a real big bonus for us here, there’s no night shift with the school system and so that seems to be the biggest pull to be able to be off when their kids are off. Many of our nurses on staff, they do PRN work at the hospital so you can have the best of both worlds. You can come in and work with students Monday through Friday and on any weekend you deem you can work with the hospital or any other agency that you chose” Bolden said.

They can also create long-lasting relationships with students and staff.

Whether it’s to recruit nurses, teachers, custodial staff or food service workers – there is an optimism that they will get it done and that class will be as normal as it possibly can.

“I am optimistic because I believe that our community is going to do what it takes for us to keep our buildings open,” said Bolden.

Upcoming events:
Cumberland County Schools rolling recruitment fair, Wednesday from 11 a. m. to 1 p.m. at Hope Mills Walmart, 3030 N. Main St.

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