During Tuesday's County Commission Meeting, Saline County Commissioners addressed an issue brought forward by Marilyn Leamer with Human Resources and Darren Fishel from the Road & Bridge Department. The topic at hand was the implementation of Mechanic Hiring Incentives aimed at resolving the ongoing challenges in recruiting Diesel Mechanics for the Road & Bridge Department.
It was revealed that the department currently had two vacant positions, with one remaining unfilled since August 2022 and the other recently opening up. This situation prompted the departments to consider additional measures to attract qualified candidates.
While the department already possessed the authority to adjust starting pay to align with the current job market, the proposal put forth by the two departments sought to introduce two temporary incentives designed to generate heightened interest in these positions until they are successfully filled.
The first incentive proposed was a $2,500 hiring bonus, with payments staggered over the course of the employee's first year of service. A quarter of the bonus would be disbursed after three months of employment, another quarter after six months, a third quarter after nine months, and the final installment upon completing a full year on the job.
The second incentive consisted of a $2,500 tool allowance, distributed in monthly increments over the span of 12 months for employees who remained in their positions successfully.
In the event that employees voluntarily left their positions within the initial 12 months of employment, they would be obligated to repay the incentives they had received.
The budget impact of these incentives would amount to $10,000, contingent on the successful recruitment of two new Mechanics. This funding would be drawn from salary allocations that remained unspent due to the prolonged job vacancies.
The motion was approved 5-0.