New Hanover County brain drain: 114 up for retirement in 2016 - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

New Hanover County brain drain: 114 up for retirement in 2016

New Hanover County could lose 114 employees to retirement (Source: WECT) New Hanover County could lose 114 employees to retirement (Source: WECT)
NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) -

We're faced with a brain drain of sorts. New Hanover County is set to lose dozens of employees who are up for retirement this year -- all experienced and knowledgeable workers.

New Hanover County Tax Administrator, Roger Kelly, is one of them. 

"I've brought in my boxes here to start packing up," he said, referencing a stack of plastic boxes in the corner of his office.

Roger Kelly has been ready to retire for months now. He's served 28 years in county government, 12 of those in New Hanover as tax administrator.

"I went out and purchased golf clubs anticipating retiring," Kelly said.

But that will have to wait. He now plans to retire Sept. 1, a year after he first planned to leave.

"If circumstances were right I would be retired, however, trying to find the right fit, the county hasn't made it there yet," he said.  

He said the county has not been able to find the right person to fill his shoes, so he's sticking around -- for now.

"Someone will have fun going through these files," Kelly said, rifling through papers in a desk drawer. "I just saw some memos from 1998."

Besides Kelly, the county is also faced with possibly replacing 113 other employees who up for retirement this year. Last fiscal year alone, 50 retired from their county jobs according to county leaders.

"That's a lot of knowledge that the county is losing," Kelly said.

So how does the county plan to replace all of these experienced and knowledgeable employees?

"We are aware of it, we are on top of it," said Mark Francolini, the New Hanover County chief human resources officer. "I think we've made some great strides in professional development for our current employees to develop future leaders of the organization."

Francolini says New Hanover hopes to fill most positions from within. Employees can now participate in leadership training through a partnership with UNCW.

As for Kelly, he's pretty sure he'll have a replacement come September.

To see a list of available jobs in New Hanover County, click here.

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