By KEITH RYAN CARTWRIGHT
Rutherford County Schools
Like many local restaurants and food service employers throughout Rutherford County, the school nutrition department is experiencing issues with hiring and retaining cafeteria workers.
To help file more than 30 open positions, the school board unanimously approved a one-time hiring and retention bonus of $500 to attract and retain staffing for school cafeterias.
“If you like working with children and would like to work for the best school district in Tennessee plus earning a nice $500 bonus just in time for Christmas then we have open positions for you,” said Eric Smith, school nutrition coordinator.
School nutrition employees must apply by Sept. 1 and satisfy three requirements to receive the bonus in late December.
Employee must be a current full- or part-time RCS nutrition employee, or be hired as such, no later than Sept. 1of the current school year. The employee cannot have a break in employment with RCS School Nutrition between Sept. 1 and Dec. 18, 2021. The employee must remain on active employee status during this time and be available for and reporting for duty as assigned by the RCS School Nutrition Department unless having an excused absence, according to the centralized cafeteria fund budget amendment as approved by the school board.
Funding for this one-time initiative — estimated to cost $267,293 — will be fully funded by the Federal USDA School Programs Emergency Operational Costs Reimbursement Programs grant.