Haywood budget shows staffing needs, rising costs

As the completion of Haywood County’s 2022-23 budget draws near, it’s becoming apparent that inflation, the tight labor market and ever-increasing health care costs are conspiring against the county to the point of potentially impacting staffing, especially in public safety.

UNC System sees surge in employee turnover

Since July 2021, institutions across the University of North Carolina system have been experiencing massive increases in employee turnover — and Western Carolina University is no exception.

Up to the fight: Cherokee’s new police chief aims for big changes

Josh Taylor is seven months into his job as chief of the Cherokee Indian Police Department. Asked how it’s going, he pauses, clasps his hands together atop the table, and leans forward.

Sylva Fire requests funding for more paid staff

Sylva Fire Department is requesting funding from Jackson County for the salary of additional paid personnel in the split paid, volunteer fire department. At a March 10 commissioners meeting, Sylva fire chief Mike Beck made his case.

Commissioners will expand EMS staffing in Haywood

A month ago, Haywood Emergency Medical Services Director Travis Donaldson pleaded with Haywood County commissioners to adjust schedules and raise staffing levels. Last Monday, commissioners gave Donaldson what he’d been asking for, in a unanimous vote. 

Saving our lifesavers: Donaldson pleads for help

A comprehensive assessment of Haywood Emergency Management Services completed in 2019 suggested that aggressive shift schedules put employees at greater risk for sleep disorders, PTSD, anxiety, depression, substance abuse and suicide. 

Swain County Schools faces recruitment, retention obstacles

In the midst of the third school year affected by COVID-19, school systems are keenly aware of the stress the pandemic causes for staff. Teachers and support staff alike have left their positions in record numbers as the occupation changes at breakneck pace, and Swain County Schools is doing what it can to identify obstacles to recruiting and retaining teachers. 

Macon to spend millions on new pay plan

After spending the last several years discussing the need for an updated pay scale, Macon County commissioners recently approved spending close to $9 million over the next three years to increase county employee pay. 

Haywood schools outlines COVID retention bonus plan

During COVID-19, Haywood County Schools’ employees have gone above and beyond to support the community and encourage learning during the Coronavirus Pandemic. This began with meal deliveries to students and the community. When the state allowed students to return to in-person schooling, Haywood County Schools opened its doors five days a week for rotational or daily attendance. Haywood County Schools have been very safe with limited clusters, strong academic and extra-curricular performance.

Labor market impacts college hiring season

Amid a nationwide struggle to fill open positions in a multitude of sectors, higher education institutions in Western North Carolina say they’re not experiencing more vacancies than is typical as they navigate their most hiring-heavy season of the year. However, in some instances filling those vacancies is taking longer than in years past. 

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