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Syracuse City School District looking to fill hundreds of positions as the school year approaches

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TheSyracuse City School Districtis hoping to fill hundreds of open positions in the weeks before school starts.

Scott Persampieri is the Director of Recruitment and Selection for the district. He said the last weeks of summer, he’ll be working to fill about 400 vacancies. About 130 of those are classroom positions.

Persampieri said fewer students are going into teacher preparation programs, and baby boomers are entering retirement, creating more open positions than usual.

In the short term, the district is offering incentives for positions that are harder to fill. It has also been hosting job fairs and is trying to think outside of the box when it comes to job posts.

"We've really taken a look at how we source candidates, so (we’re) really trying to utilize social media, more than perhaps we did in the past,” said Persampieri. “We've used Instagram. We've used Snapchat."

The district is also reaching out to some recently retired teachers, incentivizing them to come back by offering the salary they received previously.

In the long term, Persampieri said the district is creating pipelines with colleges and universities to bring in a new generation of candidates.

He hopes the district’s competitive salary and benefits will help draw applicants, as well as the intangible benefits of being a part of urban education.

"You are doing something which is really making a difference in the world, making a difference locally in the community,” he said. “I don't know that there's too many jobs out there that come with the level of satisfaction that you can get from working with kids."

Jessica Cain is a freelance reporter for WRVO, covering issues around central New York. Most recently, Jessica was a package producer at Fox News in New York City, where she worked on major news events, including the 2016 presidential conventions and election. Prior to that, she worked as a reporter and anchor for multiple media outlets in central and northern New York. A Camillus native, Jessica enjoys exploring the outdoors with her daughters, going to the theater, playing the piano, and reading.