Mt. Diablo School District offers on-the-spot interviews, signing bonuses

Amanda del Castillo Image
Friday, October 22, 2021
East Bay school district desperate to hire teachers, staff
The Mt. Diablo School District held a job fair, desperate to fill staff position amid the on-going pandemic.

CONCORD, Calif. (KGO) -- It's no secret, school districts are hurting. Across the state, most are desperate to hire teachers and staff.

At Mt. Diablo Unified School District on Thursday, an hours-long job fair connected people to a wide range of open positions.

"Special Education Assistants, Food Service Assistants, Custodial substitutes, Transportation and Teaching substitutes," the district's Director of HR Ryan Sheehy told ABC7 News.

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Sheehy said on average, Mount Diablo Unified has up to 110 teaching vacancies a day. Adding, wherever needed, school staff and site administrators have stepped in.

The district is also offering an incentive. Sheehy said Mt. Diablo Unified is offering a $1,500 signing bonus for its paraprofessional positions.

Specifically, Special Education Assistants, Instructional Assistants and more. He said mainly those who work in the classroom every day with students.

"During the pandemic, when we shifted to virtual learning, we did not hire all the assistant positions and all those classified positions that were helping out in the classrooms each and every day," he explained. "Because we were virtual."

Now they're needed desperately.

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Job seekers who attended Thursday's career fair said the event was just as critical for them, as it was to the school district.

The career fair offered on-the-spot interviews and more, meant to streamline the hiring process.

"It's an opportunity for me to get back to work," applicant Jesse Turner said.

Because of the pandemic, the handyman and hopeful groundskeeper said he's fallen on hard times. He said it's been tough to pay bills when there's little business.

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"A lot of people don't have the money," Turner shared. "So I can't go into their homes and clean or fix anything. So, that's how I ended up here."

For applicant Shane Carley, he said pandemic challenges have forced him to change plans.

"I have been involved in college baseball and teaching at the college level for the last 22-23 years," he told ABC7 News. "COVID interrupted that for me a little bit."

He added, "I went through the Mt. Diablo School District, and if I can find something here that will help me out and I could help the kids out, then it's a win-win for me and them."

Sheehy said this wasn't the first job fair hosted by the district. He anticipates more to follow.

He said turnaround time after the job fair is typically 1-3 weeks.