Friday, November 19, 2021 / by Adam Donaldson-Moxley
Tucson is partnering with a federal program to help members of the military get jobs in city departments, a move officials hope will combat the severe staffing shortages that have plagued Tucson for months.
The program, called DOD SkillBridge, is designed to make it easier for service members to transition into civilian life. It will allow outgoing military personnel to work city jobs for the last 180 days of their service while still being paid by the Department of Defense.
Tucson officials said the program will allow them to solve two problems at once, all without having to spend a dime: as a program partner, the city can help local veterans while creating a new “pipeline” of highly skilled candidates to address chronic understaffing in key departments.
City Council members unanimously approved the partnership Tuesday. It was part of a larger plan to address the staffing crisis, which has affected city services ranging from public safety to fire fighting to code inspection.
The motion also included a plan to recruit military family members and at-risk youth. Those groups are not included in the DOD SkillBridge program.
“They’re an amazing untapped resource here in the community that I think we can be tapping into for the benefit of the service members and their families, as well as our own workforce and community,” said Vice Mayor Nikki Lee, who spearheaded the federal partnership.
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