Staff shortage at ‘crisis level’ for Boys and Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley

The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley need 30 employees so hundreds of kids can attend their summer programs.
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 11:25 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley need 30 employees so hundreds of kids can attend their summer programs.

“This labor shortage is certainly unlike anything I’ve ever seen at Boys and Girls Club,” CEO and President of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley, Bart McFadden, said.

He told WVLT News staffing’s always been difficult since the majority of the organization’s positions are part-time roles, but the demand for staff reached an all-time high, considering it ‘crisis level.’

There’s 500 kids on a waiting list at 21 facilities across Knox, Blount, Anderson, Loudon and Claiborne counties.

“We’ve got the physical capacity to serve them. We’ve got the budget to serve them. We don’t have the staff to serve them,” McFadden explained.

That’s because they’ve got mandated staff to student ratios kept around 15:1.

“It’s certainly a crisis for those families whose kids are on our waiting list right now to not have enough staff for us to be able to serve the children,” he said.

They’re looking for service-minded people who have a passion to teach or coach and bring energy into the room. They need lifeguards, bus drivers, youth development workers and more.

“If we don’t fill some of these positions, these open, vacant positions, the reality is we’re going to serve probably three or four hundred fewer kids per day during the summer,” McFadden said.

CPR or first aid certified or bilingual skills help. Starting part-time pay is $12.50 an hour, but it can go up to $16 an hour if people have more skills.

“We know that we positively impact academic performance. We know that we make kids healthier, more active, more physically fit. We know that we also improve the mental and social/ emotional health of every kid we serve. So we want to be able to give every kid in East Tennessee that needs that experience this summer those opportunities and relationships,” McFadden said.

It’s a job that means so much to Youth Service Coordinate at the Haslam Club, Vanessa Askew.

“It’s helped a lot in my professional growth, but it’s helped just as much as my personal growth. And I know that we’re here to ignite greatness in the kids, but I think that they ignite just as much greatness in me,” Askew said.

Askew said someone once told her to find a job that she looks forward to going to every day and the the Boys and Girls Club is hoping to find people as passionate as her.

“I love it. I love the kids. I love the parents. And I for sure love the staff that I work with,” Askew said.

To apply click here.

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