COMP NEWS – The city of El Paso is short over 1,000 employees, so the city is turning to a signing bonus program to incentivize fresh talent. According to the city, the incentive program has been a huge success.

Laura Cruz-Acosta, the Strategic Communications Director for the city, says the pilot program has been working so far.

“We’ve seen an increase in the number of folks who are applying for the positions, and so we are seeing that it is helpful in the efforts that we’re making,” said Cruz-Acosta.

New City employees in all non-uniform positions will be given $500 at the beginning of their employment. They will receive another $500 after passing the City’s six-month probation period.

Public safety recruits would be given $500 at the beginning of their employment. They will receive another $500 after completing their respective training academy with no documented attendance or disciplinary issues.

When asked if the program was susceptible to abuse, Cruz-Acosta  noted that very few cases of abuse had been noted and that the program was successful enough to extend into the next fiscal year.

We asked Cruz-Acosta if people have been abusing the system so far.

“It is possible but we haven’t seen an extreme number of abuses in terms of that case,” said Cruz-Acosta.

Cruz-Acosta says the incentive program has been successful enough, it may be extended past it originally scheduled end on August 31, 2022.

“The city council is looking to extend that pilot program for the next fiscal year,” said Cruz-Acosta.

In addition to El Paso’s incentive programs, the city is trying to attract talent by raising wages.

The city says another way they’re trying to pull in new workers and keep current city workers is by raising wages.

The city increased minimum wage to $11.11 back in May.

The council is also considering another increase for this budget cycle by $.75, increasing the wages for city government employees to $11.86 for the next fiscal year.

To read more about El Paso’s incentive program, click here.

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