The shortage of workers is making it difficult for many Kentucky school districts to fill slots for the new academic year.
The Henderson County school district is getting a lot of competition for workers from local businesses, something that's having a big impact on non-teaching positions.
As the Aug. 11 first day of school approaches in Henderson County, there are 49 open positions across its 13 schools. Seven of those are for certified teachers and 42 are for other staff.
Human Resources Director Jinger Carter said there has been a dramatic decrease in the number of applications for every type of job in the school district.
“Years ago, whenever I first started in human resources, you might see 60 to 70 people apply for an elementary position,” said Carter. “This year if we had 15 to 20 apply for an elementary position, we were very happy with that.”
Carter said it’s even more difficult to fill the non-teaching slots, like custodian and food service positions.
“We’ve been competing this year not just with other school districts,” said Carter. “We’re competing with our local businesses because everyone is hiring right now and everyone has lots of incentives to get people on board with their organizations.”
She said private companies they have more flexibility than school districts in offering incentives. And because the COVID-19 pandemic caused financial hardship for many families, some potential employees are looking for jobs where they can start immediately and get paid sooner.