ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — With the first day of school less than a month away, Rockford Public Schools says it still has 100 vacant positions.
To try to combat the labor shortage, the district held a hiring event on Thursday, and said it was able to fill 70 positions — but 100 still remain unfilled.
Jobs vary from paraprofessional, transportation, nutrition, security, administrative support, and other fields.
The school district is offering additional benefits and a $3,000 sign-on bonus for some jobs, in an attempt to attract workers.
Paraprofessional Natasha Striteesky has been employed with Jefferson High School for 9 years and said the district offers many benefits.
“It’s a great job they have great opportunities not only for your own personal growth but for helping our future like these kids are our future,” she said.
Striteesky said she has earned an Associate’s Degree and is working on her Bachelor’s, so she can become a teacher.
“They need those teachers. They need those supportive staff, the bus drivers to get them to and from school so that they can learn,” she said. “So that they can become productive adults that are able to contribute to society.”
Applicant Dyanna Walker said she hopes to make a difference in the lives of students and hopes to join the ranks at RPS 205.
“I want to be in contact with the district, so I’m looking at either substitute teaching or a paraprofessional,” she said Thursday.
Jason Pope, the Director of Recruitment, said he hopes to hire more people in the next few weeks.
“I’m always a little nervous until school starts, to see where we are truly are at, but events like this and [with] a great turnout like this, we have today definitely helps ease some of those fears,” he said.
Striteesky said she hopes graduates of Rockford schools will apply for the open positions.
“They need those teachers and those supportive staff, that genuinely care about the well-being of our future generations,” she said.
Current Rockford School District openings can be found here.