Bus drivers, counselors a priority at ACPS job fair

Bus drivers, counselors, paraeducators and food service positions top the list of vacant positions creating needs for Alachua County Public Schools (ACPS).

Representatives from the ACPS will be recruiting at a job fair on Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Jr. Multipurpose Center (1028 NE 14th Street) in Gainesville to address the shortages.

According to Tonya Nunn, the recruitment, marketing and retention specialist for ACPS, this job fair will differ from previous ones because the district is holding it in a city facility under some restrictions, such as capping attendance, due to the pandemic.

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Officials will conduct onsite interviews, Nunn said, and limit what departments and schools will attend.

What remains a constant, though, is Nunn’s advice to “Bring a resumé and dress professionally.”

“The biggest need is school bus drivers,” Nunn said. “It’s definitely been an issue throughout the year.”

But the need for counselors, paraeducators and food service remains high, she added.

The event will not include computers or the Wi-Fi bus, which is normally at such events, but applicants can still apply online. Both ACPS human resources representatives and agents from Kelly Services will be available to conduct interviews and hire on the spot.

“We will have district contracts available,” she said.

Beginning teacher pay in Alachua County is currently at $47,500 thanks to the school board approved a 20 percent pay hike in February.

The Florida Legislature appropriated $500 million statewide this year to address beginning teacher pay.

According to the Oct. 19 list of ACPS personnel resignations, seven teachers have resigned and one retired since Sept. 10, and 19 non-instructional employees including three bus drivers have resigned with five employees retiring, one of whom was a bus driver.

According to the ACPS employment openings list, the district has 242 job vacancies to fill as of Oct. 18, with more than 50 paraprofessional openings, 12 counselor positions open, 35 food and nutrition openings, and 10 openings in the transportation department ranging from administrative assistant to drivers.

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