EAST WENATCHEE — East Wenatchee has not been immune to the hiring issues plaguing most of the country, but its size means hiring gaps are felt a bit more keenly.
The city has had four positions open in 2022 — a building inspector and code compliance officer, finance assistant, staff engineer and a deputy city clerk — said Mayor Jerrilea Crawford. That’s in addition to positions with the East Wenatchee Police Department, which currently has two openings listed on the city website.
The openings have been the result of a combination of retirements and resignations, according to Crawford. One, for example, opened up after an employee took a remote job.
“People really shifted what they did during covid and shifted around because they had to and it opened up doors for other opportunities,” Crawford said. “ So I think we’re seeing a lot of movement between agencies.”
The deputy clerk and finance assistant positions are easy to fill, Crawford said. But the engineer and code compliance officer positions are a bit more difficult given the specific skills needed to perform those jobs and the fact that the city is competing with other jurisdictions in the area that have similar.
To stay competitive, the city conducts salary surveys to make sure its pay and benefits measure up with other cities of its size. The city council has also approved up to a $5,000 signing bonus depending on experience for some positions.
The building inspector and code compliance officer one has been open since November, and Crawford said she believes the city may be filling that position soon. “We’re just waiting for those final details to be worked out, so fingers crossed on that,” she said.
If the city is unable to fill its engineer opening, Crawford said it may recruit from colleges once the school year is over.
Although Crawford said she doesn’t think the vacancies have impacted the city’s ability to meet the community’s needs, they have impacted city staff since a number of the city’s departments, such as public works and finance, only have two people.
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