AUSTIN (KXAN) — The number of job vacancies within Austin city departments remains in the thousands, but a new six-month job campaign aims to fill even more gaps.
The job campaign started on Feb. 1 and will run through the summer.
The city said that between Sept. 25, 2022 and Jan. 14 of this year, the number of job vacancies fell 7% to 2,554.
“With departments intensifying their efforts to fill vacancies and our new Citywide hiring campaign ready to launch, we’ll continue to do everything we can to recruit and retain talented people to deliver the services our community expects,” City Manager Spencer Cronk said in a news release.
Jobs impact various departments
The job vacancies are not isolated to just one area or department in the city; they are spread out.
Just south of the Austin airport, housed in a hangar, is where the airport motorpool services team is hard at work.
“There’s not much that we don’t do,” Kenneth Wykoff, the supervisor of motorpool services, said.
Wykoff and his eight technicians are responsible for fixing and maintaining any piece of equipment that has a motor in the airport. This could be a truck that airport security and staff use on the tarmac, a remote control lawn mower, or even a batch of vacuums that for some reason decided to stop working.
“We literally work on everything here at the airport,” Wykoff explained.
Wykoff said he has been lobbying for the past six-to-eight months to get another technician hired on his team because he is worried that the growing airport will put a strain on his staff.
“Because of the growing airport, we have a larger number of vehicles that we’re working on now,” Wykoff explained.
It is unclear whether Wykoff will get that needed position filled. He also is in charge of the sign shop at the airport, and he says he has been trying to fill a position for the past 18 months with no success.
The city is prioritizing what they call critical vacancies or hard-to-fill vacancies in its six-month job campaign. It is the longest campaign in the city’s history.
“But it’s always been a challenge for any municipality, including here in Austin to compete with private industry. In terms of pay,” Elizabeth Ferrer explained.
This year’s city budget included an across-the-board pay increase of 4% for staff, according to a city press release.