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The City of St. Louis is hosting a job fair this week to try to fill more than 1,000 open jobs

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Corinne Ruff / St. Louis Public Radio
The City of St. Louis is having a hard time hiring for more than 1,000 positions, including trash truck drivers.

There are more than 1,000 open jobs within City of St. Louis departments, with a critical need for 911 dispatchers, refuse drivers and airport and utility workers.

Since lifting a hiring freeze earlier this year, the city has struggled to find enough employees to conduct public services, such as collecting recycling from alleyways.

The St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment is hoping to fill open jobs by hiring more residents in north St. Louis, where unemployment rates are higher than in other parts of the city. The agency is hosting a job fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday in the Penrose neighborhood at the Wesley House Association, an organization that helps low-income and at-risk residents.

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Mapbox, OpenStreetMap
The City of St. Louis is hosting a job fair Wednesday at the Wesley House Association in north St. Louis.

Alderman John Collins-Muhammad is partnering to put on the event in his 21st Ward.

“So many things our communities complain about — we’re not picking up trash, we’re not filling potholes, we’re not staffing recreational centers, we’re not trimming trees, cutting grass — all these issues can be solved with filling these jobs,” he said.

Collins-Muhammad said he’s trying to get more information out to people about the career opportunities, competitive pay, benefits and stability that city jobs offer. He said the hiring event will offer resume and application support, and he’s expecting the city to hire people on the spot.

He said it’s important for the city to host events in various parts of the city because job seekers may not know where to go or how to apply for these jobs.

“So just trying to be creative and innovative to bring these jobs to a community that desperately needs it — because we have the workers, we have the people. We just have to connect them to the resources they need,” he said.

St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment Director Fredrecka McGlown said in a statement that city jobs provide an opportunity to earn a good wage while serving the community.

“SLATE is ready to help residents connect with good-paying jobs in our city and prepare them with the skills they need to succeed,” she said.

The city has been struggling to hire enough trash truck drivers and still has not resumed regular recycling operations. Incentives such as a $3,000 sign-on bonus, however, are leading to an uptick in applications.

You can find a list of all open civil service jobs on the city’s website.

Follow Corinne on Twitter: @corinnesusan

Corinne is the economic development reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.

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