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A Call to Action: Work for Worcester

For Immediate Release: 8/30/2022 11:38 am

WORCESTER – The City of Worcester today launched a marketing campaign with outreach efforts to promote the many available positions in municipal government with a focus on creating a more equitable hiring process and a more representative workforce.

Acting City Manager Eric Batista kicked off the campaign with an announcement to staff at the Worcester Public Library that, effective Oct. 1, municipal employees would no longer be charged a fee for parking in City lots and garages.

The City has nearly 2,000 employees, Worcester Public Schools excluded, working across  various locations and public facilities throughout Worcester. While some personnel have free parking at the building or office they report to each day, others do not and those employees have been subject to a monthly fee.

“We have been working diligently to determine what we could change to make candidates more likely to apply and current employees more likely to stay,” said Batista. “Offering free parking was an obvious opportunity for improvement.

“That’s nearly $700 annually back to current employees’ pockets,” he continued, referring to the cost some employees pay for parking at designated garages and lots. “And it’s one less barrier for someone considering applying for or accepting a job with the City.”

Additional barriers to the hiring process are being removed, including the previous protocol that all applicants are subject to physicals and drug tests. Human Resources Director Bill Bagley said those protocols aren’t necessary for all positions, and, in fact, can create a back log of applicants that slow the hiring process down.

“We’re reviewing all of our hiring procedures to ensure that they make sense by today’s working standards,” said Bagley. “For some positions, physicals and drug tests are critical to the function of the job and therefore a condition for employment. But for others, including positions where staff are at in an office workspace for the majority of their time, physicals and drug tests are unnecessary and just hinder the hiring process.”

Bagley added that the labor market has been in a unique position since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Many organizations across the country in the public and private sectors are struggling to fill open positions. This has prompted the Acting City Manager’s office to work with Human Resources to review benefits as well as recruitment and retention efforts.

“There are many cases where we have selected a candidate for a job, but while they’re waiting for all the City’s hiring procedures to conclude, they’ll be offered a job at another organization,” said Bagley.

The City has also launched a Work for Worcester marketing campaign focused on informing the public about the benefits of working for a municipality, like good health insurance, vacation time, sick leave for oneself and immediate family members, and the opportunity for a pension.

“There are also intrinsic benefits, like the feeling you get from knowing you’re part of something bigger than yourself,” said Batista.. Public service is rewarding and fulfilling. You get to be part of an organization that is working to improve the quality of life in Worcester. ”

Making the benefits packages even more competitive, City employees are eligible for tuition reimbursement and loan forgiveness through a federal public service incentive program.

The Work for Worcester campaign also emphasizes that municipal government work is for everyone. There are positions available that span many disciplines and trades, including plumbing, accounting, auto, library science, engineering, IT, law, administrative work and more.

“We’re looking for people with a wide range of skills, who come from diverse backgrounds and want to make a difference in Worcester,” said Batista. “With a growth mindset, we are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace and hope to see more people of all ages, races, gender and ability apply.” 

The City of Worcester is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All are encouraged to apply. Go to worcesterma.gov/jobs for more information, to apply, and to watch the City’s first Work for Worcester promotional video.

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