NEWTON, Iowa — Jasper County is currently hiring a county engineer that would make up to $130,000 a year. However, the county is having a hard time finding candidates.
Jasper County has been recruiting for this position since February and has yet to receive a single applicant.
“We’ve been posting on multiple job sites, multiple places, trying to get interest,” Board of Supervisors Chairman for Jasper County, Doug Cupples said. “Putting a salary out there like we did with that kind of range, we thought we would get some candidates right away, but we haven’t.”
This county engineer would cover nearly a thousand miles of roads, 400 bridges and would have to manage between 45 to 50 employees. It’s also a contracted position where benefits can be negotiated.
Jasper County is currently offering $10,000 in moving assistance along with a $5,000 signing bonus.
President of the Iowa County Engineers Association, Mark Nahra said obtaining county engineers has been a challenge in Iowa through the years.
To solve this problem, Nahra said counties need to do a better job with recruiting local college students.
“Spend an extra $15,000 or so, and hire that engineer intern. You’ll get somebody who can do more than just observe the project, test materials. You’ll get somebody who can also be that designer and be that person that can fill in behind your current county engineer,” Nahra said.
Cupples said the next step for Jasper County is to hire a headhunter to recruit qualified professionals.