WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — If anyone is in need of a job, officials with the City of Wichita Falls say they have lots of openings.
Chief Building Official Wayne Smith spent 15 years as a contractor. After working with city building inspectors throughout the years, he decided to become one for the cities of Lamesa, Decatur and now Wichita Falls.
“Coming from Decatur and being that close to the metroplex, it’s a nice change to have that small-town feel. I come from a small town and Wichita Falls is a little bit bigger than that but it still has that good feel,” Smith said.
Smith started his job in May.
His passion to work for cities is why he is encouraging others to do the same.
“I had some bad experiences with building departments. That was always a complaint of mine and I’m one of those people that…. if you see a problem, you need to do something about it, don’t just talk about it,” Smith said.
Currently, the City of Wichita Falls has many job openings. Most of them are in the parks department, street department and in public works.
Human resource officials say that is common around this time of year because of the heat.
“You’re working out on the street, you’re working in the parks, you’re working at the water plants or down in the holes fixing leaks. So those are difficult to recruit for positions,” Director of Human Resources Christi Klyn said.
Along with work conditions being a factor, officials say starting pay is another factor that has kept them from retaining hires. But they hope to adjust that in the next budget.
“Budget’s coming up and we’re gonna work towards seeing if we can implement that study that we did. Those are the positions that need it the most but across the board, the city’s wages are pretty low and so that’s why we sought to do this study. But in the budget last year, council approved it and we’re really hoping we can implement for next fiscal year,” Klyn said.
Although they aren’t the perfect jobs, officials say the health benefits, retirement benefits and helping the community grow makes working for the city worthwhile.