School lunch cafeteria generic

RUTHERFORD COUNTY, TN (WSMV) - Rutherford County Schools is offering a $500 bonus to recruit and retain cafeteria workers. 

The district is looking to fill 30 open positions. 

To qualify for the bonus you must apply by Sept. 1 and meet three additional requirements established by the school district. 

  1. Be a current full or part-time RCS nutrition employee, or be hired as such no later than Sept. 1 of the current school year
  2. The employee cannot have a break in employment with RCS Nutrition between Sept. 1 and Dec. 18, 2021
  3. The employee must remain on active employee status during this time and be available for and reporting for duty as assigned by RCS Schools, unless having an excused absence

Funding for the one-time initiative, which is estimated to cost $267,293, will be fully funded by a federal USDA grant. 

Tonya Patient has been working for Rutherford County Schools Nutrition for more than 20 years.

“You have all of the holidays off. You have spring break, fall break, Christmas break, summer break,” said Patient.

This week she isn’t working at her normal location. She’s helping cafeteria staff at Blackman Middle as they face a worker shortage.

“If I am here and one of my other schools may need something, products, a person… I am limited. I can’t go and help my other schools,” the Patient, stated.

Blackman Middle is just one of many schools in Rutherford County in need of more cafeteria workers. The district is currently looking to fill at least 30 positions.

“Getting the children fed is our top priority. But it would be much easier, and we don’t have to stay later, work longer, and pull from our other schools if we were appropriately staffed,” said Andrea Congleton, Assistant Director of School Nutrition.

Hoping to get people in the door, the school board approved a one-time hiring and retention bonus of $500.

“Employees are currently starting at 13.27 with no experience and applicants can be granted up to 10 years of outside experience to increase their pay,” said Congleton.


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