Local News

Cumberland County Holds Emergency Job Fair For Teachers

Posted August 13, 2002 6:52 a.m. EDT

— As schools reopened in several areas across North Carolina, Cumberland County has nearly 70 openings and a week to fill them, so it held an emergency job fair Monday to fill some of those spots.

At Gallberry Farm Elementary School, teachers are getting ready for the first day of school, but three classrooms are empty. There are no teachers to fill them.

"I'm going to look for really good, qualified substitutes who have been in my school, worked with our children and know our procedures," principal Jane Barnes said.

At the same time, Barnes is looking for permanent teachers. On Monday, her job turned from education to sales at a Cumberland School system emergency job fair. Classes begin next week and the county still has 68 positions to fill. Each school is competing with each other for qualified candidates.

Job fair organizers say there are two kinds of candidates they see often: recently relocated military families in which one of the spouses is a teacher. Some candidates are from another state where they are placed on waiting lists and they realize that time may be running out.

"I knew I wanted to come down South. I love the environment. I have family here. It's a nice location and nice area," said Melanie Yevchak, a recent elementary education graduate from Pennsylvania, who heard about the job fair online.

Cumberland County is offering incentives for teachers, including signing bonuses and waivers on utility deposits. Wake County needs to fill about 60 teaching positions right now. Durham currently has 30 positions.