SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The city of Springfield is hosting a job fair next week in a bid to rebound from a lingering labor shortage.
City leaders report that there are currently more than 400 vacancies in various city departments.
The job fair will be held Tuesday, March 8 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Job Center on E. Sunshine St. in Springfield.
The event comes about a month after the city council approved a 4% raise for all city employees and raised the entry-level wage to about $15 an hour.
Hoping to fill more than 170 full-time open positions, Rochelle Yoap, assistant human resources manager for the city of Springfield, says departments have had to make changes in order to stay competitive with the private sector.
Vacancies range from openings with 911 Communications, Springfield Police Department, Fire Department, Animal Control, Environmental Services and the Springfield-Greene County Park Board.
Yoap says the city isn’t immune to what many are calling the “big quit.” In order to stay competitive with the private sector, the city also offers bonuses for employee referrals in certain departments, as well as free training for many others.
“We really do, I mean, we compete with Mercy Cox, other companies here in the Springfield area, so it’s important to be competitive and really help retain the employees that we have because that we have a truly phenomenal workforce,” Yoap told OzarksFirst on Thursday.
Next week’s job fair also aims to hire more than 250 part-time seasonal positions.
The Dickerson Park Zoo, which hires seasonal workers through Friends of the Zoo, says it is already accepting applications ahead of peak season.
“A lot of times our customer services there, the very first customer interaction that our visitors will have, so we really want someone who loves, you know, loves animals and the outdoors, but most of all really loves people. “, says Joey Powell, Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Dickerson Park Zoo.
Powell says seasonal positions at the zoo typically hire students, retirees and those hoping to pursue a career with the animals.
We’ve had people who literally started out in customer service or driving the train and are now zookeepers. So that’s something you think I’d like to have an animal career one day, maybe that’s a good place to start.
To browse current job openings with the City of Springfield, click here – https://www.springfieldmo.gov/jobs
People attending the job fair on Tuesday, March 8 are encouraged to bring copies of their résumés.