Missouri school district hires its own students to ease labor shortage crunch

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One Missouri school district has found a unique way to deal with the nationwide labor shortage: hire their own students for some open positions.

The Northwest School District in Missouri has begun hiring students to fill open positions such as those relating to custodial, school food, as well as before and after school programs for students up to the fifth grade.

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Mark Catalana, the chief human resources officer for the school district told Fox News that they made the decision due to the nationwide labor shortage. 

"Prior to COVID we were experiencing a shortage of applicants but the pandemic has made the situation worse," Catalana said.

Catalana added that the new job openings will "absolutely" give students a good chance to gain experience in the workforce.

"The District Mission is that all students will be ‘Respectful, Responsible, Resilient life-long learners ready for success in a complex and ever-changing world,'"Catalana said. "We feel the opportunity to be employed by the District allows them to stay connected to their school and community as well as provided real life work skills beyond high school."

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According to Catalana, students are taking interest in the open positions within the school district.

"We're very pleased with the amount of interest our students have shown in these positions. They are very excited to have this opportunity to work here," Catalana said.

He said the job openings at the school district could provide students with a good alternative to other jobs in the area, which may require them to work late night shifts, weekends, and holidays.

"Our priority will always be their education and we are committed to providing a flexible schedule so they can continue to focus on their academics and still be involved in school related activities," Catalana said.

Sign text closeup for help wanted with red and white colors by entrance to store shop business building during corona virus covid 19 pandemic (iStock)

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According to Fox 2 St. Louis, the district is even offering students transportation if their job is at a different school than the one they attend.

25 students applied for the positions and are currently in the onboarding process.

The Northwest School District operates 11 schools ranging from preschool through high school.

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