The Fayette County Detention Center sought to solve staffing issues with a hiring event Saturday.
For years, county jails and correctional centers have struggled with staffing issues. Now, that gap is even wider with the post-pandemic labor shortage.
“You can’t drive down the street without seeing a help wanted sign somewhere,” said Major Matt Lemonds with the Fayette County Detention Center. “So that’s something we’re competing with not only on attracting new staff but retaining staff that we have.”
The detention center hopes to fill more than 60 open positions with monthly hiring events.
Major Lemonds said that number is higher than usual, even for a high turnover rate career.
Lemonds said one of the challenges they’re facing is competition with other industries fighting for new employees. But, unlike other jobs, the jail can’t reduce hours or work from home. Lemonds said one thing the job offers, though, is stability.
“When COVID was hitting its peak, we didn’t have to worry about having a job. We were here,” Lemonds said. “Now we didn’t get to stay at home and do our jobs, but we had to come here, and it was stable employment. So there was not any point during any of this that I was worried about how am I going to put food on the table for my family.”
The jail plans to hold hiring events every month. At those events, people can apply, tour the facility and talk to current officers about their positions.