We are all familiar with the challenges we are seeing in today’s workforce. These are nationwide issues, as we see a variety of factors impacting the number of people who are in the labor market. The most prevalent issue is that the Baby Boomer generation is retiring at a rapid pace, and the share of the total population between the ages of 15 and 64 has been in a state of decline since about 2010. Compounded with lower-than-normal labor participation rates, this is leaving gaps in our economy, and it is harder for areas like Meridian, which has a growing economy, to fill its overall employment needs.
As a local government we are not immune to these workforce challenges. We have nine different departments, each with their own unique purpose. People know about Police and Fire and we have been fortunate to attract talent to our community to help fill the needs of these growing departments to meet our public safety expectations. But there is much more here at the City of Meridian. While we have Parks, Community Development and Public Works which are unique in many ways, we also have the same functions as most private sector business such as the accountants who process the billing, the attorneys that ensure adherence to the laws, the software engineers that keep our computer systems running, and the engineers who ensure water and sewer projects and systems are moving forward and functioning and more.
For instance, our Parks and Recreation team has a variety of functions and many of those are heightened during the spring and summer months. We need staff to maintain the lawns and landscaping, manage and execute events and program classes, and help manage many parks facilities. We also have needs and unique job opportunities for ages 17 and older to be Camp Counselors, Camp Coordinators, and Camp Leads. These individuals facilitate our summer camps for Meridian’s youth – such as the ever-popular Mer-IDA-Moo. There is a lot of hands-on experience with early childhood education and event coordination for daily activities.
Additionally, last year, the City of Meridian began overseeing the daily operations and maintenance of the Meridian Pool, located in Storey Park. This community asset was owned and operated by the Western Ada Recreation District (WARD), which is a separate entity from the City of Meridian. As you can imagine, this is a busy time of year for pool operators who are prepping facilities to open for the summer. Our Parks and Recreation staff are also working hard to provide swimming lessons to the community and have the pool available for open swim times. As one example of the hiring needs of a city, we need to hire 70 lifeguards in order to be able to be open seven days a week while providing a safe, fun, and vibrant outdoor community pool.
In order to provide the services our community loves, ultimately, we need people. If you have been thinking about a career change, have you thought about the City of Meridian as your employer? If you are currently driving to another city for work, have you thought about how easy of a commute it would be to work in downtown Meridian? Do you have someone that is looking for a seasonal job? Perhaps a teenager is looking for some summer income?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, I encourage you to review the open positions at the City of Meridian website, www.meridiancity.org/jobs. Here you will find nearly 30 different public service opportunities to consider.
It is important to know that as your public servants we want to be able to offer each and every one of you the best experience and premier services. But it starts with having a team in place. I hope you will consider joining Team Meridian and help us achieve our mission to deliver superior service through committed, equipped employees, dedicated to the stewardship of the public’s resources while being a vibrant, livable and connected community.