Dickinson City Departments Struggle to Fill Positions - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Dickinson City Departments Struggle to Fill Positions

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As Dickinson grows, the city departments are finding their workloads are increasing too. But hiring new city employees isn't going as smoothly as the city would like.

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More cars mean more work for the city's street maintenance department.

"The rate that this city is growing, and with the amount of people that are moving in and the amount of infrastructure that's being currently built, just every few months, it just keeps continuing to add to what our responsibilities are," says Dickinson Street Maintenance Manager, Brent Coulter.

But the department only has five full-time employees besides Coulter, and three and a half open positions to fill.

"It's very difficult competing with the outside contractors right now. The amount of work out here is just unbelievable, so a lot of the people that are out job hunting may have the ability to pick and choose wherever they're gonna go," he says.

Since last year, public works and public safety departments have had a lot of empty spots.

"Some of the biggest issues are housing here in Dickinson. Some of those positions are not real high-paying positions, it's hard for people to be able to afford the rent," says HR Coordinator, Shelley Nameniuk.

One department that's had a lot of trouble filling vacant positions is the police department.

"Police officer, it seems like we get quite a few applicants. But they're right out of school, right out of college, so not the experience," says Nameniuk.

But things could change in 2014, the City Commission made some salary changes this month that could entice job-seekers.

"We were given a five-percent cost of living increase this year in January, and all of those positions get a step increase, so with both combined, it's probably a nine to ten percent increase," says Nameniuk.

The Commission also added more jobs to city departments this year that need to be filled to keep up with the rising population.

Coulter says even if the Street Maintenance Department fills all its vacancies this year, he'll probably be going to the Commission in 2015 to ask for even more employees.

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