Gary School Board outsources human resources department

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Cheryl Pruitt

Gary Crusader staff report

A Merrillville firm has been hired to manage the Gary School district human resources department for four months.

The Gary School Board awarded the $65,000 contract to CorePlacement Personnel Services. The decision was made after the district’s state-paid financial specialist Jack Martin helped school administrators identify problems in the human resources department after Director William Cook and Assistant Director Diana Groce retired in January.

Groce reportedly ran the department single-handedly. Currently, there are three or four clerical employees in the department that do not know how to manage the department.

CorePlacement Personnel Services was reportedly recommended by Martin and Superintendent Cheryl Pruitt. On Thursday, February 11, the Gary School Board approved the contract Thursday by a 4-2 vote.

Martin said he is working with the Department of Education and the state to help pay for the costs of CorePlacement Personnel’s $65,000 contract.

According to her website, CorePlacement owner Connie F. Martin founded the company in her home in 2001. The firm is now located at 3608 W. 80th Lane in Merrillville. The website says she received a bachelor’s degree in marketing and human resources from Indiana University and an MBA from the University of Illinois.

In recent years the Gary school district has struggled with dwindling enrollment and reduced state funding. Like many school districts around the country, the school has faced intense competition from charter schools that continue to lure students to its classrooms.

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