Rehired employees will be able to work part time at previous hourly rate
Henrico is launching a program to entice dozens of its retired county government employees to return to temporary, part-time positions to address critical staffing needs in public safety and mental health.
Under the Henrico County Encore Program, individuals who apply and are rehired in designated positions will be paid at the hourly rate they received at the time of their retirement, rather than a lower, prevailing market rate. Officials today announced the program and its tagline – “The Right Time for Part Time” – and posted on the county’s recruitment website five position classifications that qualify for the incentivized compensation:
- Police officer in School Services, also known as school resource officer
- 911 public safety dispatcher
- Mental Health and Developmental Services clinician
- Firefighter – C.A.R.E. Team, community risk reduction/public education, fire marshal’s office, training, professional standards and medical transport
- Sheriff’s deputy
Officials said the Henrico County Encore Program represents a nimble response to a highly competitive job market, in which public and private sector employers are struggling to attract qualified candidates for vacant positions. Like other municipalities, Henrico’s staffing needs are particularly acute in the specialized areas of public safety. As a result of the challenges, agencies often are forced to pay overtime to full-time employees to maintain services.
“The Henrico County Encore Program is tailored to help us address immediate, critical staffing needs in our Police and Fire divisions, Emergency Communications Center, Sheriff’s Office and Henrico Area Mental Health and Developmental Services,” County Manager John A. Vithoulkas said. “We’re looking to tap a proven talent pool – our loyal, retired employees. They have the qualifications, experience and training to help us meet the service needs of our community.”
To qualify for the Henrico County Encore Program, applicants must have been retired from Henrico’s general government for at least six months and must have successfully completed their probationary period during their full-time employment. Individuals who are hired through the competitive process must have the flexibility to work various shifts and in different section areas depending on department needs. Employees will be classified as hourly or temporary employees and will be limited to a maximum average of 29 hours per week or 1,500 hours within a 12-month period.
The Henrico County Encore Program dovetails with other efforts by the county to attract and retain a strong workforce for its government and public school system. For example, Henrico’s current budget funded 117 new positions in public safety and education, provided a 5% merit-based salary increase for government and school employees and launched a career ladder program for teachers and other eligible staff of Henrico County Public Schools.