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State agency increases some workers salary by $750/month, launches mentor program

Posted at 6:46 PM, Feb 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-03 20:03:00-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Some state workers are receiving raises and the opportunity to be mentored.

Now, one state agency says that's helping a large amount of their workers stay at their current jobs.

Adult Protective Services workers are adding weight to their wallets, and wisdom to their experience.

“They're building their confidence and their leadership abilities,” said Jennifer Catalani, APS Program Admin.

The State has agreed to give APSS caseworkers a $750 a month increase in salary, in order to help with retention rates.

The department added a mentorship program to help new employees get more comfortable, and the experienced workers to get more recognition.

It’s a high-stress environment, very fast paced and when there’s other agencies paying more it’s very enticing to move over to those agencies,” said Catalani.

She says the State agency works to protect the elderly from abuse, neglect, and exploitation, and helps adults with disabilities.

She says people who work in this field often leave, for either higher paying jobs or ones with more training.

But not anymore.

“The State of Texas also takes into consideration the service that we do the work that we do,” said Catalani.

As of this month, the turnover rate, or amount of people who have left APS has decreased from 25.2 percent, to 20.7 percent.

Not only are new employees sticking around longer, but tenured ones are motivated to keep moving up

“They're efficient at using their technology in the field and they know policy so it’s not just about how long you've been here but have you demonstrated the competency level needed to train a new staff,” said Catalani.

APS workers who volunteer to be mentors go through testing and training before they're assigned a protégé. But once mentors, they do receive a $300 stipend every month for their work.