- Associated Press - Friday, January 8, 2016

REDFIELD, S.D. (AP) - The South Dakota Developmental Center in Redfield is dealing with a staff shortage, with more than 40 open full-time positions out of about 340.

The state-funded facility supports people with developmental disabilities, and about 140 people receive around-the-clock care. But the facility is chronically short on staff, with 25-40 open positions at any given time over the past decade, Director Jan Banghart told the American News (https://bit.ly/1OU11j9 ).

“This seems to vary at different times of the year and continues to fluctuate over the years,” Banghart said in an email.

Employees are required to work overtime to compensate for the staff shortages.

Former counselor Erica Ishmael said many workers have quit just to get a break from work, but there’s a rule that they can’t come back until six months later.

“So even though staff are getting physically and emotionally drained because there are no breaks, they are quitting so they can get a break, even though they might just need a week or two because they’re so drained,” Ishmael said. “They can’t come back for six months, even though some really good staff want to come back.”

Banghart said the developmental center is using a variety of different options to advertise open positions.

It’s working closely with the city of Redfield to promote the town and bring families to the community in hopes of broadening the center’s workforce. The center is also offering practicums, internships and shadow opportunities through several universities. And the center’s human resource manager is participating in career fairs and advertising in social media, newspapers and radio.

Banghart said that the center has a wide variety of open positions available that require varying degrees of education, and it provides free job training to new staff members.

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Information from: Aberdeen American News, https://www.aberdeennews.com

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