Short-term shortage creating long term issues for labor in schools

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Help is needed everywhere! Credit: Sophia Schwartz

Sophia Schwartz, Staff Writer

With the pandemic it isn’t news that there have been lots of struggles. Countries all over the world are struggling economically for many different reasons. Here in Georgia, one economic issue that is affecting people at Roswell is the labor shortage. They need workers to manage the factories and establishments in order to stay afloat. At Roswell, the labor shortage has affected Roswell a lot. We are missing staff members like cafeteria workers, janitors, and bus drivers. Common jobs aren’t being properly filled, which creates difficulties in schools.  

In an article by Georgia Chamber New the author, Chris Clark, explains how the crisis could have started. He believes that the short-term causes of the crisis were due to unemployment benefits that paid people more than they would usually make during a normal work week. Also, these benefits helped with healthcare and child tax credits. The solution that Georgia used for the short-term causes were to require beneficiaries to seek proper employment. This helped in pushing people to start getting jobs rather than just benefiting from the unemployment checks.  

An article by WABE explains how Atlanta schools are being affected and how they are dealing with the labor shortage. The main job that this article tackles is bus drivers. According to Joanna McFarland, A CEO of HopSkipDrive, becoming a bus driver isn’t an easy process and there needs to be a long-term solution for the shortage.  A quote from the article states, “They can go drive for Amazon; they can go drive trucking,” she says. “And they’re going to make a lot more money and be able to work a lot more hours doing that.” Due to unemployed people making more money than they normally do plus other jobs being easier to get, bus drivers are now harder to come by and many schools are missing majority of them. Also, bus drivers deal with passengers. Drivers for other companies simply must drive around products like Amazon. There isn’t the added extra of having human lives in your hands. This extra level to the job keeps people from taking bus driver positions. Dealing with kids and parents makes the job more difficult compared to a delivery driver.  

It is clear that Roswell is one of the many schools in Atlanta, Fulton County for that matter, that have been affected by the shortage. I spoke to Dr. Shaw in order to get some insight into how the shortage is affecting Roswell: 

 

“How is the labor shortage in Georgia affecting Roswell?” 

Shaw: “One is cafeteria workers… and also bus drivers. Almost all of them run double routes. We have also always had a hard time finding subs… Across the board it’s affecting us.” 

“How is Roswell dealing with the issue?”
Shaw: “We are really working with Fulton County Schools. They are putting an emphasis on recruiting people. They upped the pay on subs, they upped the pay on bus drivers, and they upped the pay on police officers. The district is going out to different locations and job fairs. Things like that to try and recruit new people.” 

“Is Roswell being affected similarly to other Fulton Schools?” 

Shaw: “Yes for sure. I have friends that are principals and administrators in Cobb, Cherokee, Forsyth and they all say that same thing.” 

“Do you think that the shortage is going to affect us the rest of the school year?”
Shaw: “I hope not. I hope maybe after the new year, maybe winter break, it will be a little better. Its hard to say. I’m not sure if anyone knows how to answer that.” 

 

After speaking with the principal, it is very clear that the labor shortage happening in Georgia due to the Covid 19 pandemic is heavily affecting Roswell. As of now Roswell and other Fulton Schools are trying to keep up good standards without having all the necessary staff.