Today's Question: How should the city deal with coming retirements?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009 | 9:30 a.m. CDT; updated 4:16 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, August 18, 2009

COLUMBIA — Baby boomers reaching the age of retirement has City Manager Bill Watkins preparing for an infusion of new blood in city jobs.

Over the next five years, more than half of the city’s roughly 200 supervisor-level employees will be eligible to retire, according to projections from the city’s Human Resources Department.

Although the city has been gathering data on employees eligible for retirement and soon will begin work on broadening job classifications and salary ranges, it still lacks a formal plan to deal with the coming onslaught of retiring boomers.

Watkins has postponed developing a formal training program for dealing with the problem. Limited resources has forced Watkins to delay a program he first mentioned in a State of the City address three years ago.

Watkins asked for $50,000 in his proposed 2010 budget to fund a three-year program that would help prepare existing employees to fill upper-level positions.

Daniel Turban, a professor in the management department of the MU School of Business, said Columbia’s problems aren’t unique.

“It’s not uncommon at all. It’s pretty typical,” he said. “The baby boomers are retiring, and there’s limited cohorts below them.”

What should the city do to plan for the baby boomers' retirements?



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