CYS plans to hire new staffers at job fair

Prospective candidates for entry-level positions with Child and Youth Services will be notified by CPAC to attend the CYS job fair on Feb. 28 by appointment only. They will meet with CYS managers who will review their resume on the spot. (File photo)

Child and Youth Services will hold its fourth job fair to hire personnel who have a passion for working with children and want to progress in a growing career field.

The job fair will be held Feb. 28 at the School Age Care Center located at 1900 Reece Road.

Job candidates will be notified by the Civilian Personnel Advisory Center and will be given an appointment to meet with CYS managers at the job fair who will review their resumes and conduct an interview.

Francisco Jamison, chief of CYS, said CYS plans to hire new staffers because of the 450 children on the waitlist for its child care programs and to fill vacancies.

About 35 entry-level Child and Youth Program assistant positions are currently available to work with children ages 6 weeks old to 18. Staffers will work at the installation’s Child Development Centers, School Age Care Center and the Youth Center.

“We are always in search of new care givers,” Jamison said. “Unfortunately for CYS, there’s a retention challenge. Many of our staff are military spouses, so folks PCS from Fort Meade to other garrisons. So we have to back-fill their positions.”

Jamison said that child care is a growing career field and that many CYS staffers, who undergo an intensive, free training program once they are hired, often move on to new positions at Fort Meade or off post.

Prospective employees must be at least 18 years old and a high school graduate or have earned a GED. Jamison said CYS is looking for candidates who have some prior experience working with children, either as baby sitters or in youth recreational programs.

The salary range is $12.69 to $16 per hour for a flexible schedule. Health benefits are not offered.

Candidates must first apply for a position with CYS at USAjobs.gov through Feb. 22. Their application will be pre-screened by CPAC before being reviewed by CYS managers at the job fair.

Failure to attend the job fair will result in a loss of consideration for the position.

CYS managers will hire candidates on the spot. Candidates will then be required to complete paperwork for a required background check and fingerprinting that can take up to six weeks to complete. Once they pass the background check, candidates can start working.

A more extensive National Agency Check with Inquiries background for federal employees is also required and takes up to three months to complete. Candidates can work while the background check is conducted.

Once hired, Child and Youth Program assistants must undergo a rigorous 40-hour orientation and training that includes the topics of child abuse, child neglect, fire safety and CPR.

People should not apply if they are not dedicated to working with children — a parent’s “most prized possession,” Jamison said.

Although CYS seeks to fill entry-level positions, it is possible to advance within CYS and build a career. There are pay increases for staffers once they reach specific milestones.

Jamison, who began his career as Child and Youth Program assistant, said staffers who continue their training can be promoted to a supervisory program assistant position within three to five years.

The flexible schedule of entry-level positions allows staffers the off time to earn a degree in early childhood development, which Jamison said, bolsters their ability to be promoted.

Editor’s Note: The Employment Readiness Program at Army Community Service provides information on preparing for a job interview and resume preparation. Call 301-677-5590.

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