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At the City of Albuquerque’s Eagle Rock Convenience Center dumpsite, the one thing that is not going to waste here is time. It’s all hands on deck as the Solid Waste Department is looking to hire more than 60 employees. “So 69 vacancies might not sound like a lot but it really is because we provide a lot of the essential services to the city,” said Solid Waste Management Associate Director, Jill Holbert.
Services like graffiti cleanup and recycling. They’re specifically looking to recruit some of the tougher positions to fill like mechanics, drivers, and heavy lifting operators. But they maintain even though they’re short-staffed, the public will not notice and they will not miss their trash pickup.
“But it [filling vacancies] would certainly help our staff because they’re on overtime because that’s our go-to when we have shortages,” said Holbert. “Our staff steps up and performs overtime so and there might be a few instances where there will be lines at the convenience centers but for the most part again I believe the public is unaware because our employees step up and our services are seamless.”
Solid Waste isn’t the only department facing shortages. It’s unclear exactly how many vacancies the city has but online they have more than 120 job postings. Each posting could be looking to fill multiple positions. In August, the city started offering hiring bonuses as a way to draw people in. Certain positions like police officers and paramedics could cash in a $15,000 dollar hiring bonus and other positions like heavy equipment operators for Solid Waste could get an extra $750.
“These operators are extremely talented people,” said Holbert. “Honestly they make it look easy, believe me, they make it look easy.”
The hiring bonuses will continue through the rest of the year. KRQE News 13 asked the city how many vacancies they filled after rolling out the hiring bonuses but they didn’t give a number only saying that they’re encouraged by the hires they’ve made and the volume of applications they’re still seeing.