Make us your home page
Instagram
Jobs | School districts

Few positions go wanting

Unlike other jobs, drivers are always needed. Consult district Web sites (top right) for details.

Times file (2004)\uFEFF

Unlike other jobs, drivers are always needed. Consult district Web sites (top right) for details.

At this time last year, Laurie Pellito was courting out-of-state job candidates to fill the various vacancies in Hernando County schools.

"I would have done everything I could to welcome them and help them get an application in," said Pellito, Hernando's recruitment coordinator. "Now I'm telling them, 'I'm sorry.' "

She's not alone.

Tampa Bay area school districts find themselves awash in job candidates as the new academic year approaches. But unlike past summers, the districts have few positions to offer.

"Our district has gone flat in growth," noted Janice Velez, human resources manager for Hillsborough schools. "Therefore, we have fewer positions to fill. We're always looking for high-quality people, but the opportunities are not as large as in the past."

A quick look at the Hillsborough district's employment Web site tells the story. "There is an employment freeze on the hiring of new permanent personnel in all classifications" starting May 18 and until further notice, it says.

The district is filling most open positions from within, although some entry-level positions for bus drivers, custodians and cafeteria workers remain.

Pinellas schools face a similar situation.

To deal with budget shortfalls, the administration has reassigned hundreds of employees into school-based jobs. Pinellas leaders want to avoid layoffs even as they shut schools.

Even so, district spokeswoman Andrea Zahn said, "The bottom line is we still have some needs that are unfilled." For instance, she said, "We always need bus drivers."

As districts advertise new openings, they get flooded with applicants — whatever the job.

"It's a very competitive market this year," said Terry Aunchman, head of recruiting for Pasco schools. "I've talked to principals who tell me when they run a job ad — for example, elementary schools for an elementary ed position — they're getting as many as 200 applicants per position."

Even janitor jobs draw big numbers, with many coming within minutes of the posting online, Pellito said.

"People are checking our Web site regularly," she said.

Job seekers are so numerous that nearly 200 people came to Pasco's recent job fair for substitute food service workers and custodians. They left trained but with no guarantee of work.

Several districts report that they're seeing a larger number than ever of people with master's degrees seeking substitute teaching positions.

It has gotten to the point where the districts have scaled back their recruitment efforts, canceling trips to other states that traditionally have filled Florida's once numerous teaching vacancies and deciding not to attend the annual Great Florida Teach-In.

It's good news for school districts, which can be increasingly choosy about whom they hire.

For potential employees, on the other hand, "It's very scary," Pellito observed. "You can be very qualified, you can be very experienced. But so is everybody else."

Still hiring

Many school-related jobs are in short supply, but not all of them. "We always need bus drivers," Pinellas school district spokeswoman Andrea Zahn says. Schools also often need cafeteria workers, custodians and substitute teachers.

The job: Bus driver.

Job requirements: In Pinellas, a high school diploma, GED or successful completion of the district's basic skills test. Also, at least five years of licensed driving experience, an "excellent" driving record, and a valid Florida Driver's License, Class A or Class B, which is endorsed for passenger transport and school bus.

The pay: $11.25 to $12.50 per hour.

• • •

The job: Substitute teacher.

Job requirements: In Pasco, at least a high school diploma or GED, successful completion of training and a flexible schedule.

The pay: $55 to $75 per day, depending on experience.

School job Web sites

Hernando
www.hcsb.k12.fl.us/hrmd/
cur_vancancies_new.htm

Hillsborough
www.sdhc.k12.fl.us/Human
Resources/Prospective

Pasco
www.pasco.k12.fl.us/
employment/pages/employ
_opp.html

Pinellas
www.pcsb.org/hr/Jobs.html

Few positions go wanting 07/28/08 [Last modified: Monday, July 28, 2008 7:12am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. For Gov. Rick Scott, 'fighting' could mean vetoing entire state budget

    State Roundup

    Every day, Gov. Rick Scott is getting a lot of advice.

    The last time a Florida governor vetoed the education portion of the state budget was in 1983. Gov. Bob Graham blasted fellow Democrats for their “willing acceptance of mediocrity.”
  2. Potential new laws further curb Floridians' right to government in the Sunshine

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — From temporarily shielding the identities of murder witnesses to permanently sealing millions of criminal and arrest records, state lawmakers did more this spring than they have in all but one of the past 22 years to chip away at Floridians' constitutional guarantees to access government records and …

    The Legislature passed 17 new exemptions to the Sunshine Law, according to a tally by the First Amendment Foundation.
  3. Data breach exposes 469 Social Security numbers, thousands of concealed weapons holders

    Corporate

    Social Security numbers for up to 469 people and information about thousands of concealed weapons holders were exposed in a data breach at Florida the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The breach, which the agency believes happened about two weeks ago, occurred in an online payments system, spokesperson …

    Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam on Monday that nearly 500 people may have had their Social Security numbers obtained in a data breach in his office.
[Times file photo]

  4. Trigaux: Can Duke Energy Florida's new chief grow a business when customers use less power?

    Energy

    Let's hope Harry Sideris has a bit of Harry Houdini in him.

    Duke Energy Florida president Harry Sideris laid out his prioriities for the power company ranging from improved customer service to the use of more large-scale solar farms to provide electricity. And he acknowledged a critical challenge: People are using less electricity these days. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  5. Citigroup agrees to pay nearly $100 million fine for Mexican subsidiary

    Banking

    NEW YORK — Citigroup has agreed to pay nearly $100 million to federal authorities to settle claims that a lack of internal controls and negligence in the bank's Mexican subsidiary may have allowed customers to commit money laundering.

    Citigroup has agreed to pay nearly $100 million to federal authorities to settle claims that a lack of internal controls and negligence in the bank's Mexican subsidiary may have allowed customers to commit money laundering. 
[Associated Press file photo]