Mesa Public Schools forms employee recruitment partnership with Arizona Department of Economic Security

Vehicle maintenance employee in shopIn summer 2019, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman approached Mesa Public Schools Superintendent Ember Conley with an idea: a pilot partnership between the district and Arizona Department of Economic Security. The goal? To help alleviate a classified employee shortage.

"Running a successful school takes a team of talented professionals working alongside our educators, but many school districts have struggled to fill critical positions such as classroom aides, bus drivers, cafeteria workers and other paraprofessionals," Hoffman says. "These positions are needed to ensure student achievement and can help build a pipeline of future educators."

In September 2019, ARIZONA@WORK, the DES workforce development network, held the first of several Mesa Public Schools job fairs. Positions are also promoted on In many cases, applicants had not previously considered working at a school district because they were unaware of the range of opportunities, including trade and technical positions. More than 30 employees have been hired as a result of the partnership.

"Creating a partnership with ARIZONA@WORK has provided an opportunity for Mesa Public Schools to connect with interested applicants through hiring events," says Renee Parker, director of human resources. "Working together, we have successfully employed job-seekers for vacancies they may have never known were available within the public school system."

Hoffman is thrilled with the results of the pilot partnership, and she looks forward to expanding the opportunity to districts throughout the state.

"The success of this partnership between Mesa Public Schools and Arizona Department of Economic Security provides a blueprint we can use to support the staffing needs of school districts across the state," Hoffman says. "I'm excited to see what we can accomplish on a wider scale."

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(Photo by Tim Hacker/Mesa Public Schools)


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