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Franklin experiencing staffing shortage

Franklin City Manager Amanda Jarratt expressed notable concern during the May 24 City Council meeting about a staffing shortage the city is experiencing, later indicating it is part of a trend that extends beyond Franklin.

Amanda Jarratt

Her comments on the local shortage came as part of the city manager’s overall update to the council.

“I will also stress that we have a number of vacant positions, and I’m starting to get very worried about our workload as we move into the spring and summer,” she said. “So if you know anybody who’s interested in a position, please have them reach out.”

She spoke further on the issue in a May 28 email interview.

“The City of Franklin, like a number of other localities and private businesses, is seeking to fill a number of positions,” she stated. “We are seeking to fill positions across all departments, however, (we) have the most open positions in Public Works, fire and police.”

During a May 26 community event called “Chilling with the Chief” in which Franklin Police Chief Steve Patterson engaged in an extended conversation with Franklin citizens, he also highlighted the city’s staffing shortage and encouraged people to spread the word to help draw applicants.

Jarratt indicated that if the shortage continues, it could have an impact on the efficient execution of services the city provides.

“We will continue to provide all services to the citizens, utilizing our existing staff as best we can, however, there may be some delays,” she said.

She noted the city’s open positions can be found at www.franklinva.com/employment.

As of May 31, that city webpage listed 30 positions, 25 of which were full time.

A link on the city page leads to another webpage where the Franklin Police Department states it is now accepting applications for a full-time police officer trainee, a full-time communications officer/dispatcher and both full-time and part-time Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services-certified police officers.

A link on the city page also helps lead to the job listings for Franklin City Public Schools. As of May 31, the school system had 16 openings in the instructional category, which included, but was not limited to, positions like teacher, library media specialist, guidance counselor and administrative roles like principal and assistant principal. The school system also had nine openings in the support/classified category, which included, but was not limited to, positions like coordinator of federal programs, curriculum specialist, full-time bus driver and custodian.

Jarratt stated that individuals can apply for jobs by dropping off their applications in person at City Hall, which is located at 207 W. 2nd Ave.; by placing them in the dropbox outside City Hall; or by emailing them to jobs@franklinva.com.