CMS job fair aims at filling gaps in Charlotte schools

CHARLOTTE — Dozens of open job positions still need to be filled in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, but a job fair held Wednesday provided at least some relief for staffing shortages.

The school district needs people in a variety of places, but vacancies have stacked up for essential roles that aren’t teaching positions. Currently, there are 100 openings in CMS School Nutrition Services, 78 in custodial services, 72 for the afterschool enrichment program, and 59 bus driver openings. That’s in addition to the 400-plus teacher openings listed as of this week.

For Gerald Alexander, a CMS bus driver for 22 years, it’s hard work -- but someone has to do it if thousands of CMS students are going to get to and from school.

“I pray a lot, trust me; I pray a lot and I have a lot of patience too, so that helps,” Alexander said. “You have to know how to work under pressure.”

Alexander says she’s driving longer routes due to the impact of staffing shortages, but CMS Director of Operations Jabar Duncan says he hopes career fairs like the one held Wednesday at Philip O Berry Academy will put the district in a better spot.

“We have a lot of positions and not enough people to fill those positions,” Duncan told Channel 9.

One candidate for a custodial services position said her job search has been difficult, but she’s optimistic about finding employment after the job fair.

“The process was good, the people are very nice; they’ll call me back to do the interview,” said Ursule Sasa.

Duncan says part of the challenge is making people aware of what the district is hiring for and making sure the district is attracting the right group and the right crowd.

Alexander said she’s been doing her own recruiting, hoping it lightens her load a bit.

“One left CATS and she came in [to apply], and the none, she really wasn’t happy with her other job, she was working at the airport,” Alexander said.

The district is also offering signing bonuses for many open jobs, ranging from $500 to $7,500 depending on the position. (See the list of bonuses here.)

You can find job openings and applications at this link.

(WATCH BELOW: CMS partners with hospitality industry to help students find jobs)