Recruitment fair fills crucial CYS roles

By Becca Castellano
U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart

Erin Hilua, a CYS caregiver, plays with preschoolers at the Patch CDC. Courtesy photo.

On Dec. 8, Child And Youth Services (CYS) will host a Virtual Recruitment Fair between 7:30 – 10:30 a.m. CYS is looking to hire Child & Youth Program Assistant (CYPA) positions. Positions are available on all USAG Stuttgart installations. Applicants must be 18 or older, have a high school diploma or GED, and have good English skills.

For more information, visit the CYS webpage or call 09641-70-596-4100 or DSN 596-4100.

Amanda Garrison attended a pre-COVID recruitment fair in hopes of finding employment that would authorize her sofa status.

“With the recruitment fair, they interviewed me on the spot and offered me a job the same week,” said Garrison who never expected to find her career here. “CYS has given me the tools and support I need to succeed and the opportunity to advance. I love my job.”

CYS Division Chief Jamie Ruffini said they were surprised with the turnout they have received since going virtual. So far, the team has tentatively filled 20 of 39 crucial vacancies needed to fully staff all CYS facilities. The additional employees will allow CYS to offer care for more children and reopen places like the Kelley School Age Care Center.

Even with the new hires, CYS centers cannot return to full capacity until the Garrison returns to Health Protection Condition Level Alpha.

“Under normal circumstances we must provide 35 square feet of space per child in every room and that is how we determine class sizes,” she said. “Under HPCON Bravo conditions, that number goes up to 42 square feet and now it includes the teachers so it does affect our class sizes greatly.”

Until HPCON Alpha returns, new employees will help to cover the workload that changes in procedures due to COVID-19 have caused. Changes like extra cleaning schedules, facilitating longer breaks for teachers to remove their masks, and escorting children in and out of the building to parents who are no longer allowed inside.

Once shared spaces, like play-grounds, must be sanitized between groups because children and caregivers can only socialize with their assigned “pods.”

“We used to have floaters who would enter different classrooms to give caregivers breaks but because of COVID, we no longer mix our staff between rooms,” said Ruffini who further explained mitigating efforts within each pod. “In the infant and toddler rooms we have one person responsible for changing diapers and another for feedings so that at no point is anyone who has handled a diaper, ever handling food.”

Once fully vetted and trained, new hires will join a pod at their assigned center. Garrison said she looks forward to the much needed help, but also to welcoming them into the CYS family.