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City Employees Needed In Big Spring

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By Sylvia Gonzalez
NewsWest 9

BIG SPRING - Many people are turning to jobs in the oil industry these days. Most are attracted by the higher pay and lately this trend seems to be hitting the City of Big Spring particularly hard.

For some it's been a way to make a living for years but others have been lured more recently by the high paying salary that oilfield companies offer their employees. This has certainly been the case for city employees in Big Spring. According to John Medina, Civil Service Director, they are currently below the number of employees they are supposed to have and it's affecting some crucial areas.

"We have 267 employees budgeted, we are currently right now 10-12 percent short, in critical areas such as Police Department, Fire Department, Utilities for example," Medina said.  

Medina says at times they feel as if they are unintentionally preparing some of their employees to make the jump to the oilfield industry.

"The demands for CDL drivers, we might hire an employee that doesn't have one, we train them and as soon as they get a CDL, they can fly off to an oilfield job," Medina said.  

Medina says the lack of city employees such as police officers and firefighters at times have put them in a bind, however, he emphasized they always find ways to meet the needs of Big Spring residents.

"We have to be creative so we bring in other employees from other departments and we are able to keep up that way, but not as efficient and effective as we should be," Medina said. 

The Administration of Big Spring has recognized there is a problem in retaining their employees. Medina says a committee has been formed to look at different retention issues and to find solutions for both the short term and the long term.

"Try to come up with a comprehensive plan to maybe counteract all these challenges that we are having with employees, so hopefully within 30 days we will come up with something and address these challenges in the budget," Medina said.