APOPKA, Fla. – Orange County’s Public Works Department held a job fair on Wednesday as part of an effort to fill dozens of open positions.
The hiring effort comes as many industries are facing difficulties in finding employees.
Eduardo Avellaneda, who manages the county’s roads and drainage division, said his department is facing a shortage of 86 positions.
“As it is right now, Public Works has 38% vacancies, which is probably one of the highest we ever had,” Avellaneda said. “It has been a big challenge. There is a lot of competition from the private sector.”
As an incentive, a $500 sign-on bonus was offered to applicants with a commercial driver’s license.
“It about costs us the same amount of money to send our people for being tested, so we figure we’ll offer it to the applicant,” Avellaneda said.
The department is hiring maintenance workers, equipment operators, highway utility repair workers and masons. Starting pay range is from $15.61/hr to $30.19/hr.
Patrick Golay is a maintenance worker for the county and hoped to use the job fair as an opportunity for a promotion. He said the shortage of workers has made things difficult.
“Hopefully, we can get some help, because we could sure use it,” Golay said. “Some jobs that should probably take a day at the most are taking two to three days.”
On Wednesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis addressed the statewide staffing shortage during a visit in Brevard County.
“In the economy, you’re seeing that all across in a variety of industries in terms of needing more personnel in Florida we have about, between 400 and 500,000 job openings right now in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said.
During Thursday’s job fair, county leaders were hopeful they’ll make some progress in what continues to be a big need for workers.
“If I can fill 30% of those positions, it’s fantastic,” Avellaneda said.
For details about how to apply to open positions in Orange County, click here.