LYNCHBURG, Va. – School districts all over the state are dealing with staffing shortages, including many in Central Virginia. On Tuesday, Lynchburg City Schools hosted its first hiring event this fall to fill some big gaps.
“I have been out of work since May 2020,” Rhonda Tinnell says. “I have tried to find jobs ever since then and it’s very, very difficult.”
Tinnell is one of many hoping to strike some luck in her interview with school leaders.
“I’m hoping to find a job. I really want to work.”
School is back, and for three months now, operations are as close to normal as they’ve been in more than a year. However, Superintendent Dr. Crystal Edwards says it hasn’t been without challenges.
“Our entire division, wherever needed, is sort of sliding and covering for each other,” Dr. Edwards says.
Teachers, subs, administrators, nurses, bus drivers: it’s all help wanted--needed--across the board. Covid-related absences are playing a huge role in spreading the already short-staffed district even thinner.
“There are days where we do have folks who are not attending to what I would call the regular work,” Dr. Edwards adds. “They’re moving to help a colleague or help out in a way that would help students get what they need.”
Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist Victoria Watts says they’re also having to fill new roles created during the pandemic like contact tracing.
“We have added new positions that we need to fill to address our needs with COVID,” Watts says.
The district is making changes in the calendar to help staff prepare. They’ll continue to do so until they can find the right people for the job.
Lynchburg City Schools’ next hiring event is from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 17 at the Virginia Career Works Center on Odd Fellows Rd.