HELENA — The YMCA is gearing up to handle more kids as COVID-19 cases are on the rise in the Helena community. More cases means more demand for child care. The Y is trying to meet the demand with more employees.
“It's one of those things where I need as many people as possible," says Alex Reid, the Youth Director.
As of November 19th, the YMCA has four open full-time positions with many more part-time positions, but they admit they may need even more to meet the demand. They have about 80 kids in their program, almost double what they had a month ago. Plus, they have an additional 30 kids on a waitlist. Reid and his staff have already dealt with employment issues just this week when East Helena’s Radley Elementary went to remote learning.
“East Helena had closed and I opened up our rosters Monday morning and it turned out we had 10 more kids,” says Reid. “So that scared me a little, but we were able to weather that perfectly just fine, but it's one of those things where I got to keep growing with it because the need is going to get even bigger, if we don't stay on pace with it."
The Y admits if they had all the staff, they would have about 120 kids in their program. The facility can handle a max of about 180 kids. More people means more risk for COVID-19, Reid and his team have added more precautions to the program to handle more people in the facilities.
“It's one of those things where we got to take the system that one of my staff put in place and take it even more seriously than ever," says Reid.
Due to the high need of employees, Helena YMCA says they are flexible with hours and salary. Part-time workers are in the $10-per-hour range with full-time employees in around the $14-per-hour range.