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HCS Head Start holds job fair to fill open teaching positions

HCS Head Start holds job fair to fill open teaching positions
Published: Apr. 2, 2022 at 7:03 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - Saturday morning, HCS Head Start held a job fair at its Springfield location in hopes of finding more teachers and staff.

They currently have 55 open teacher positions they are looking to fill.

“We opened our doors at ten,” said Lor Chaves, Director of Clinical and Family Services. “We’re going till two o’clock today, hoping that we’ll get some applicants coming through.”

They are optimistic at HCS Head Start. They are looking to fill jobs since there are empty seats in the classroom.

“This really tells our story here at HCS Head Start,” Chaves said. “We’ve been struggling to get teachers and support staff throughout the pandemic.”

Chaves told Western Mass News that in non-pandemic times, they serve up to 1,000 children. The Head Start program cares for infants to five-year-olds in Springfield, Chicopee, Holyoke, and Ludlow.

Chaves said that right now, they are about half capacity. For the job fair Saturday, they hoped to hire just one or two teachers.

“If we can get a team of teachers, we can open one more classroom and service 17 to 20 more preschool kids,” she said.

As far as attracting job applicants, they have tried to stay competitive and offer incentives.

“We have sign-on bonuses,” Chaves said. “We’ve done some retention benefits.”

Within the first hour and a half, only two applicants came through the door, not nearly enough for the open 55 teacher positions they have. If you’re interested in applying or want to learn more, you can find more information on their website.