Harford County Public Schools held a walk-in all-positions job fair on Tuesday afternoon at Aberdeen High School to make a final effort to meet their hiring targets for the upcoming school year.
At the hiring event, HCPS Human Resources representatives and representatives from the Facilities, Food and Nutrition, and Transportation departments took applications and conducted on-site interviews.
The food and nutrition department was looking to hire dishwashers, cashiers and van drivers, said Katrina Money, head of the food and nutrition department at Aberdeen Secondary School. .
The Transportation Department was hiring bus drivers, bus attendants and administrative roles, said Kiana Barnes, Transportation Department administrative specialist.
The daycare has 30 openings, including entry-level positions, said Cornell Brown, assistant superintendent of operations at Harford County Public Schools.
“We’re still struggling to fill our guard positions, but these job fairs are really helping us,” Brown said. “We are essential to day-to-day operations when it comes to supporting teachers and students. We ensure the safety and cleanliness of the building, which is very critical for the environment.
HCPS was also looking to fill teacher, substitute and paraeducator positions at the event. The school system has about 22 teaching vacancies to fill before the start of the school year on Sept. 6, said Ben Richardson, assistant superintendent of human resources.
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Each of the departments has held job fairs over the past year to fill vacancies and are on track to meet their targets, HCPS officials said. The school system has also used virtual hiring events, video interviews, social media outreach and virtual small group presentations, said Shannon Hagon, personnel management supervisor.
Harford natives and HCPS alumni attended the job fair because of their connection to the community, said Norman McCarthy, a Harford native and aspiring teacher. Harford County offers an urban-rural feel that creates a strong community, McCarthy said.
“I like how at Harford you get a bit of everything, and I think that provides a melting pot for HCPS,” McCarthy said. “You get a lot of different backgrounds depending on the school zones. I think it’s really cool to possibly be able to influence something like that.
Superintendent Sean Bulson told a school board meeting in April his goal was to hire at least 100 graduate teachers from the school system each year.
For those coming from outside the county, the opportunity to be a guiding figure in the well-structured environment of HCPS is a draw.
“I worked in different classes at different schools, and in all schools, I notice the school always needed guidance and respect,” said Donna Lewis, substitute teacher for HCPS of Baltimore. “Maintenance in schools in Harford County is maintained. It’s very structured, so you don’t see the nonsense in the classroom.
About 250 certified positions have already been filled for the 2022-2023 school year, HCPS officials said. Harford County Public Schools will host another career fair on homecoming night at the Aberdeen IronBirds game on August 25.