WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — City of Wichita Falls officials are gearing up for a public service job fair hosted by Workforce Solutions North Texas.

This is as they see a 30% increase in job shortages across most departments.

Human Resources Supervisor Brian Lester said they are still struggling to get people back to work since the pandemic.

Lester said he is hoping a Public Service Job Fair will help them fill the 166 vacancies.

“You’re looking at things like our utility system workers, our sanitation workers, our park maintenance workers,” Lester said. “The folks that have the closest interaction with our citizens.”

The openings are spread across 40 different positions where multiple employees are needed in the same roles.

Lester said it has been difficult to fill these positions but they are tackling them head-on.

“It’s a fairly universal problem, but we are taking additional steps by seeking out the recent salary survey, we received some great recommendations from that, and we will be using some of those recommendations, the hope is to improve some of those recruitment situations that we’re seeing,” Lester said.

Lester said having vacancies is quite common for the city, but the pandemic somewhat affected their ability to bounce back.

“Normally there is a lot of movement, it fluctuates, I think one of the things that COVID did was it took it down into one of those valleys and maintained it at that level so we didn’t really see a lot of the normal growth back that we see whenever we have a shortage,” Lester said.

The greatest need is in public works, so water, sanitization, sewer and street workers however there are opportunities in housing, planning, the WIC program, among others.

Lester said one way or another they will get these positions filled.

The job fair will take place next Tuesday at the Vernon College atrium, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Interviews for some jobs will take place on the spot and contingent job offers for some.

No appointment is necessary.

Find more details on the Public Service Job Fair here