BRADENTON -- In an effort to get more teachers and support staff on board before the new school year starts, the Manatee County School District will hold a job fair and hiring event Thursday at Manatee Technical College.
This may not be the first year the district has held such an event, said Sarah Brown, the district's new executive director of human resources, but it's the first time in recent years this type of event has been held.
"We want to bring people in," she said. "We are one of the largest employers in the county."
As of June 1, the district employed 5,523 people, not including part-time employees, according to a public records request. About 4,500 of those employees fall under collective bargaining agreements.
On Thursday, anyone interested in instructional and non-instructional positions can head to Manatee Technical College's main campus on State Road 70 to learn more about the positions, apply online and sign up for an interview in the afternoon.
"The ultimate goal would be to fill all of them," Brown said. "We're hoping to have them in as soon as possible."
This mark's the start of the district's emphasis on hiring local, said Superintendent Diana Greene.
"It gives us the opportunity to show the community more about our school district," she said.
Greene said she was excited for the event, which she expected may be small this year but should continue to grow in future years.
About two-thirds of the district's open positions are instructional and one-third are support positions, Brown said. As of Monday morning, the district's online hiring site had 145 open positions posted -- 115 instructional, 18 non-instructional and 12 administrative openings.
In previous years, the district has struggled to hire needed teachers by the start of the school year, having trouble with finding qualified candidates soon enough and having trouble with an antiquated online hiring system.
In May, the district launched a new online hiring system -- called Taleo -- to try to make the process smoother on both ends of the hiring spectrum. Applicants can upload a resume or use a social media LinkedIn profile and the software will pull relevant work experience and information directly into the application, which will speed job applications.
Once inside the system, Taleo allows hiring managers to compare up to four candidates side-by-side. The system also alerts administrators, such as those in the Human Resources Department, when action is needed to process an application.
Brown said the system is still new but is working well.
The district is expecting a third year of continued growth in student enrollment. The state-mandated 10-day count, taken in early September, set Manatee's enrollment at 47,153, up from 45,958 students at the same time in 2013, an 1,195-student increase.
After 10 days of the 2013-14 school year, the district enrolled almost 1,000 more students than anticipated, according to Herald archives, with 46,008 students, up from a projected enrollment of 45,343.
Meghin Delaney, education reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7081. Follow her on Twitter @MeghinDelaney.