APS hosts annual job fair to fill open positions

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Albuquerque Public Schools held its annual job fair Wednesday, in an effort to bridge the gap between employers and potential employees.

Multiple candidates told KOB 4 it has been difficult to find work.

“I think it has been a challenging process to find jobs, get leads, find people that are wanting to sit down and talk to you,” said Mary Miller, who is applying for high school English teaching positions.

“We hear so often that, you know, ‘we need teachers,’ and ‘there’s a teacher shortage,’ etc. But most of the positions that I’ve applied for have already been filled. Like you’ve had an applicant in mind, so the interview process feels more like a formality,” said Shirley Carter, another applicant hoping for a job at a middle or high school.

On the other hand, APS officials say it’s been hard to find people to work. They went into Wednesday’s job fair with a goal to fill 625 positions.

“We’re looking to staff all of our positions, quite frankly, we have a high need area in special education for teachers and educational assistants, certainly custodians and bus drivers as well,” said Todd Torgerson, chief of APS Human Resources and Legal Support Services.

For teaching alone, APS is looking to fill 20 middle school positions, 29 high school positions, 45 elementary school positions, and 125 special education positions.

“We’ve always had a high needs areas of special education and educational assistance,” Torgerson said.

But even with hundreds of openings, officials say they are better off compared to years past.

“We’ve had some budgetary right sizing, and so some of those positions, we’ve kind of absorbed, and so that’s helped our vacancy rates. Our vacancy rate, on a year over year basis, is lower than it has been,” Torgerson said.

This comes after the district cut close to 300 positions to accommodate a large drop in enrollment, and $17 million budget deficit. While the change may have moved some teachers to other schools, grade levels or subjects, officials say they were not fired.

“There weren’t any layoffs,” Torgerson said. “So we did not have a reduction in force. What we’re able to do was create and close down some of the vacant positions”

APS officials say those who missed the job fair can still apply for open positions here.