Fort Riley, Kansas



Hiring event takes steps to provide staff for Child, Youth Services

By Andy Massanet | 1ST INF. DIV. POST | June 26, 2017

     Need met need at a Fort Riley Childcare Provider Hiring Event June 13 at Parent Central 6620 Normandy Drive at Fort Riley.

     Nearly 30 qualified applicants secured positions as childcare providers with the Child and Youth Services, part of the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.

     As a result, CYS will receive much-needed staffing who will eventually help mitigate shortages which have caused temporary suspension of some CYS services.

     Applicants for all levels of child and youth programs were drawn to the event, conducted in coordination with Chris Solano, a human resources officer at Fort Riley’s Civilian Personnel Advisory Center.

     “We’ve had great turnout today,” Solano said. “In the first 30 minutes alone we’ve had 18 applicants come in. The largest number we’ve had before today was 40 and that was over the entire event.”

     That event, Solano said, was held May 15. Of the 40 applicants in that event, 34 were interviewed and 33 were hired.

     The May 15 record still stands, but this event yielded 30 interviews and 29 tentative job offers — 25 of which were to military spouses or dependents — all of who accepted, according to an information paper submitted by Solano June 14 to Fort Riley Garrison Commander John D. Lawrence.

     In addition, the paper said, all selected applicants completed required fingerprinting on site and all are scheduled with occupational health.

     The additional staffing will help CYS provide much needed programming according to Wendy Winston, program operations specialist for CYS.

     “We’ve conducted these hiring fairs over the past few months in the hopes of bringing new people on board,” Winston said. “We are extremely short staffed at this point in our (child care) centers so, to make sure we have the people that we need, we collaborated with CPAC to see if this fair was the right thing to do. The past few ones have been very successful and we are hoping that each time, each month, we can get more and more people to apply.”

     Winston added the hiring events are particularly helpful to military spouses new to the post who are looking for gainful employment.

     “Summer is PCS (permanent change of station) season, so this is a great opportunity for military spouses to come in,” she said. “Many times, when they are new to a station, they don’t know where to go or what to do, so we are hoping that with enough marketing we can get them up here and give them something to do.”

     That would give new hires a starting wage of $11.48 per hour in the entry-level position, Solano said, adding “the usual progression for new hires would be through three levels: entry, skilled and target.”

     Two subsequent promotions and pay increases are possible once training is completed, Solano said. The next step from the entry level is the “skilled” level which commands $12.53 an hour, followed by the “target” position, which pays $14.08 per hour.

     “They are not competitive promotions,” Solano said. “That means once (assistants) are fully qualified, they will be promoted to the next level.”

     The new staffing will help CYS keep some of the services available to military parents. For example, Winston said, “as of July 3 we had to temporarily suspend hourly care services due to the shortages that we have,” she said. “Summertime being a slower time we decided to do that now, rather than during the school year. But we are hoping that, come this fall, we can open those services back up to our families. That being said, though, we still offer parents’ night out where parents can use five hours of care to go and do something with their spouses or just to get some down time. It also allows them to use their deployment benefits they are entitled to.”

     All suspended services will be reinstated once staffing becomes available, Winston said.

     For more information about programs offered to parents by CYS, call 785-239-9885. For more information about future hiring events, call 785-239-2325.