Employers continue struggling staffing their businesses, even as Virginia’s unemployment rate falls

Henrico County

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) – Virginia’s unemployment rate has fallen, but employers are still finding it hard to staff their businesses. With that need, has come a flurry of job fairs.

Henrico County Public Schools is looking to attract more workers after dealing with a staffing shortage in several areas, including transportation.

Substitute teacher Roberta Beckett was one of dozens of applicants for a position at the district at a job fair Wednesday. Beckett has witnessed the teacher shortage first-hand.

“There’s such a great need that there’s always a long list of needs as far as substitute teaching. So, it’s like a whole list and then you go through the list and then you have to decide what school you’re going to go to,” Beckett told 8News Wednesday.

Wednesday, Governor Ralph Northam announced Virginia’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.5% in May.

Despite that drop, there’s still a number of industries looking for help.

HCPS pupil transportation director Jim Ellis confirmed Wednesday that the district is down 80 bus drivers.

Donovan Graham applied to be a bus driver with HCPS, a position the district has a big need for.

“The government is giving out unemployment benefits and people can make more money staying home, I mean I think it’s a big issue,” Graham said on the widespread staffing shortages.

The school district also needs mechanics to work on the buses. Ellis said the shortages have affected their workflow.

“The kids have to get loaded onto another bus, another driver has to fill in, and if we don’t have enough drivers, there’s going to be a delay,” Ellis said.

Like many places hiring right now, Ellis said the school district is looking into offering incentives like sign-on bonuses for people who are applying to be a bus driver to attract more workers.

Amelia County Public Schools is also hiring bus and car drivers. The district is offering training for applicants and a $500 bonus at the end of each year for the first three years for new employees. For more information, the school district asks you to contact Heather Gentry, the director of Human Resources at (804) 561-2621.

Along with Henrico and Amelia counties, Hanover County Public Schools is hiring for over one hundred job positions. For more information, available jobs can be found here.

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