Local News

Apex employees get creative to keep jobs

Posted March 18, 2009 6:39 p.m. EDT
Updated March 18, 2009 7:17 p.m. EDT

— Municipalities all over the Triangle are looking for ways to cut costs without cutting jobs, and that has many trying something new.

Some employees in Apex are trying to be creative so they can keep working. They are swapping their jobs.

Steve Adams, for example, started out as a building inspector but now spends a lot of his time outside doing electrical work.

"It was something I was not very familiar with, but I am now," he said.

Slowed construction because of the slumping economy left the Town of Apex with too many inspectors and not enough buildings.

Adams had only been here for seven months.

"Usually, the last one in is the first one out, I suppose," he said.

But instead of cutting his job and others', he got trained to do another one.

"I was glad to work somewhere that was flexible and innovative enough to look at the skill sets of people they have in house to see if they can use them somewhere else," Adams said.

Annette O'Briant, an administrative assistant working for town inspectors for 14 years. Now, she works for both the planning department and the purchasing department. In a few months, she's headed to work at the police department.

Apex town leaders say they had to shave more than $750,000 in current operating expenses. They were determined to do that without shaving any essential services or jobs.

"The last thing that anyone wants to do is exacerbate the layoff problem," Apex Town Manager Bruce Radford said. "We were going to try to find a way to save our people."

That's welcome news for employees like Adams, who says he's up for whatever.

"I'll go where they need me," he said, "and be glad to be on the roster."