School makes scheduling a challenge for downtown managers

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SHERIDAN — Whether for a high school classroom or for a college lecture, students heading back to school leave some local store managers looking for additional help and figuring out the puzzle of scheduling.

The Sport Stop manager Michelle Powers Maneval said she’s used to the yearly dip in availability that comes with the back-to-school season.

“We like to hire local college kids so we always know they’ll be going back to school,” Maneval said. “It’s always a drop when school starts because they’re all gone at the same time.”

Maneval said while she didn’t completely lose any employees, she did have four employees decrease their availability to head back to school. She said her part-time employees average about 30 hours a week each.

But even with the cut hours, Maneval said she’s not concerned because the school year brings in a new workforce.

“So we’re running short this week but it usually catches up because the kids that come into town usually want jobs as well for part time,” Maneval said. “So there’s usually a week or 10-day gap in there where we don’t have anyone and then we’re back up to speed.”

She said the back-to-school time doesn’t leave a lot of extra hours to be covered, but makes it harder for scheduling things like lunch breaks because there are fewer bodies working in the store.

Foot of the Bighorns manager Cooper Powers said they’re in the same boat.

“(We) didn’t lose any to back to school,” Powers said. “…We lost a lot of manpower because all of our hours had to be cut back with all of the people going back to school, me included.”

Powers said four of the store’s seven employees are students, which can make scheduling hard.

He said he has to balance hours between students, including one who only works one day a week due to school and sports, and moms who have children and child care responsibilities. He said the store is looking for one more full-time employee.

While he said he doesn’t want to overload anyone with hours, overall his staff seems happy with the schedule. He said usually staff members ask for additional hours, and he hasn’t had those requests recently. Additionally, Powers has to balance his own schedule, which he said he’s still figuring out.

“I’m just focusing on work when at work and when I’m off work I’m putting 110 percent toward my studies,” Powers said.

Asia Robinson is one of The Sport Stop’s employees heading back to school. Robinson is taking classes online as well as at Sheridan College.

Robinson said she doesn’t have classes Mondays or Fridays so she works all day those days, as well as Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. She said she didn’t work as much last year, but she was taking more credits.

“So it’s going to be fun to work through all that,” Robinson said about balancing her schedule. 

“I’m not 100 percent sure if I’m balancing it as well as I should be, but it’s a work in progress,” she added.

Maneval said to help with scheduling she requests that when possible, employees take classes in blocks of time to allow the morning or afternoon open for the student to work.

Even though the season can make scheduling a headache for a short time, Maneval is happy to see her employees furthering their education.

“It’s good,” Maneval said. “All my girls are out for good degrees that they want to get from Sheridan College and then move forward from there. It’s good.”

By |September 5th, 2017|

About the Author:

Kristen Czaban has been with The Sheridan Press since June 2008 and has covered the entire gamut of beats including government, crime, business and the outdoors. Before heading west, she graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor’s in journalism. Email Kristen at: kristen.czaban@thesheridanpress.com

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