Anchorage schools need to fill scores of jobs ahead of the school year

The Anchorage School District is facing a large worker shortage ahead of the coming school year.
Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 10:15 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Worker shortages are being felt across numerous sectors of the job market, and with the school year fast approaching, the Anchorage School District is having a tough time staffing its hourly wage positions.

According to Thomas Roth, chief operating officer for ASD, the district is in dire need of cafeteria managers, cafeteria assistants, bus attendants and more.

The lack of cafeteria managers, specifically, could have a big impact on students at certain schools within the school district. Roth explained that students won’t be able to get hot meals in schools without a cafeteria manager. The children won’t go hungry, but they would be served cold meals, which Roth calls “shelf-stable meals.” And he said that it’s not the level of service ASD should provide.

“We’re down 50 positions total,” Roth said about the student nutrition department. “I got 21 cafeteria manager positions that are unfilled.”

The district is going to extraordinary measures in an effort to attract more hourly wage employees for the numerous available positions.

“We are offering a hiring bonus of $2,500,″ Roth said.

The school district is also offering current employees a $500 bonus for every new hire they refer, and an additional $500 if that person completes the school year.

“There is no limit to how many referral bonuses an employee can receive while this agreement remains in effect,” ASD said in a staff announcement.

Along with the money, Roth is making a plea to those who may be able to help.

“We believe that there is a population out there that if they understand that the impacts, the scope of our shortage, they would agree to sign on,” he said.

Students return to class for the school district on Aug. 17. That leaves ASD less than two weeks to hire as many people for those unfilled positions before students start showing up.

For more information on the available jobs or to apply, visit the jobs portal on the ASD website.

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