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Albuquerque to host hiring event for city, state and county workers as part of national push

AFSCME's Staff the Front Lines bus.
Courtesy AFSCME
AFSCME's Staff the Front Lines bus is schedule to come to Albuquerque Monday, Aug. 14, as part of a national public service worker recruitment campaign.

The nation's largest public service employees union is rolling through Albuquerque as part of its national Staff the Front Lines bus tour. The AFSCME recruitment campaign is being held in over 20 cities this summer in response to what the union says is “chronic understaffing” in essential government positions nationwide. A local hiring event on Monday is part of the effort.

Top elected officials, including Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Mayor Tim Keller, are expected to speak at the event alongside union members.

AFSCME Council 18 spokesperson Josh Anderson said staffing shortages can keep agencies from delivering services the public depends on.

“Once we see vacancies hitting the rates we’ve seen recently, public services suffer and ultimately the citizens of New Mexico suffer,” he said

State agencies saw an average vacancy rate of about 24% last fiscal year, according to the State Personnel Office.

Representatives from the state, along with the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County, will be showcasing available jobs and benefits at the event.

Anderson said attendees should bring a resume and ID, as the city will be taking applications on site for departments like transit, aviation, solid waste and general services.

Beforehand, elected officials will hold a private listening session with union members on how to better recruit and retain public employees. Anderson said competitive pay and swifter hiring processes are areas for improvement.

“Another thing I think we could all do better, and a huge component of what we’re doing with this bus tour, is just make folks aware,” he said. “When we’re looking at our next generation of workers, they may not be as aware of the city, the county or the state as a great way to build a career.”

Anderson said many but not all of the positions highlighted at the event will be union jobs and he encouraged anyone with curiosity to come see what’s available.

The job fair will be held Monday from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at AFSCME’s Lujan Union Hall in Uptown Albuquerque. Speakers are set to begin at 12:30.

Nash Jones (they/them) is a general assignment reporter in the KUNM newsroom and the local host of NPR's All Things Considered (weekdays on KUNM, 5-7 p.m. MT). You can reach them at nashjones@kunm.org or on Twitter @nashjonesradio.
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