The city of North Las Vegas had a peak of about 2,200 employees in 2006. By 2014, recession-related cuts had chopped that number in half, City Manager Qiong X. Lu said.
The city has about 1,300 employees now, and in a further sign of economic recovery, officials plan to hire for 60 positions. They became available in July, after the city approved a $601.6 million budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year, Lu said.
The city is focused on expanding departments including development, utilities and public works, she said. Other available jobs involve aquatics, recreation, libraries and electrician work.
Separately from the 60 new hires, the city is recruiting for police and fire department positions. The North Las Vegas Fire Department recently graduated about 20 recruits, the most in the past 10 years, Lu said. The city aims to fill an additional 20 positions; that depends on how many qualified candidates surface, she added.
Lu, who began working for the city about 13 years ago as its public works director, said she’s excited because she’d had to hand out pink slips. She said her department once had about 280 employees, but by 2010, it had 67.
The staff increase will be a relief for other employees who have been wearing “multiple hats,” Lu said.
Romina Chapman-Wilson, the business services manager in the city’s utilities department, recalls seeing co-workers take early retirement or get bumped into different departments.
Chapman-Wilson, who has worked for the city for 11 years, was one of two database coordinators before she was moved to a senior position. Her pay didn’t increase due to the economic issues, but she eventually got a raise in her new position.
Some employees, such as Christine Boyce, were let go and have since returned. Boyce was spared during the first round of layoffs, in 2010, but was transferred from the utilities department to customer service. Her job was cut during the second round of layoffs.
After four months of being unemployed, she received a call from her former boss about doing temporary work for the city. She did so for about a month and was promoted to full time.
“Why wouldn’t anyone want to come back to work for the city?” she said. “There’s a great benefit package, and I spent years building rapport with my co-workers, and I missed them when I was gone.”
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