Bend Parks and Rec is on a quest to hire 30 people by the end of this month for an after-school program that serves about 900 children and their working parents every day of the school year
If more staff can be hired, the Kids Inc. program could expand and serve more children and families who are on waiting lists to participate in the popular program.
Kids Inc. provides games and enriching activities to help kids burn off steam after school until their working parents arrive to pick them up.
It is offered at all elementary schools in Bend except Amity Creek and Westside Village.
“Our daughter was able to attend Kids Inc., last year. She just loved it. It was so enriching. Very affordable. Great hours. She built some incredible relationships, not only with the kids but the teachers, too,” said Kristi Runberg of Bend.
But this year, Runberg’s daughter is stuck on the waitlist due to overwhelming demand.
“We were informed via email that we were not selected through a random drawing which was a big bummer because we love Kids Inc. and our daughter loved Kids Inc.,” she said. “We are somewhere in the 30s on the waitlist. We are not really expecting to get a slot.”
The Runbergs are among 300 families on the Kids Inc. waitlist.
And if Bend Parks and Rec can hire additional staff – a few more families might just get into the program.
“What we are looking at right now is trying to find qualified staff to maybe expand a little bit and provide the program as we have it at 14 elementary schools,” said Sue Boettner, Recreation Services Manager, Bend Parks & Recreation. “Right now we are in need of 30 staff. To help with that we’ve raised our wages significantly, between 10 and 12 percent for all of our positions.”
Starting pay for Kids Inc. employees range from $15.60 to $17.85 an hour.
Work hours are from 2:30 to 6 pm on school days making it a good second job for young adults or a way for retired folks to give back to the community.
“We want people who are fun, active, and genuinely care about kids,” Boettner said. “You can affect a kid’s life positively by working in our program.”
For information about Kids Inc. job opportunities visit: https://www.bendparksandrec.org/about/employment/current-job-opportunities/
Bend Park and Rec is hosting a job fair Wednesday, August 18, 4-7 pm at Hollinshead Barn, 1235 NE Jones Road in Bend.