The city of Springfield has installed an interim director of workforce development following Sally Payne's sudden resignation.
Ericka Schmeeckle, the department's assistant director, took on the interim leadership role Oct. 23, said Darla Morrison, the city's director of human resources.
"There is no specific timeframe set for this interim appointment," Morrison said via email yesterday. "The city manager’s office and human resources are looking at beginning the search for the new director in early 2023 and will be determining the specifics of the search and selection process."
A Department of Workforce Development employee since 2018, Schmeeckle was appointed as assistant director in November 2021, according to the city's website. Schmeeckle has experience in grant writing and program management, and she's a graduate of Lindsey Wilson College in Kentucky.
Schmeeckle succeeds Payne, who abruptly resigned last month. In an interview with Springfield Business Journal, Payne claimed retaliation by city officials after she questioned a city finance department employee's use of workers' compensation.
Payne in August 2021 became the city's permanent workforce development director after holding the position on an interim basis for more than 20 months. She succeeded Mary Ann Rojas, who retired in 2019, according to past reporting.
A pair of area medical colleges that received state grant funding in the fall are now investing the funds toward technology and new programs with the intent of attracting more students to the nursing profession.