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Lonoke County company serving individuals with disabilities continues to experience a staffing shortage



Lonoke County, Arkansas – Since COVID-19, businesses and organizations have experienced a lack of qualified personnel, including a central Arkansas-based nonprofit that supports people with disabilities.

The pandemic, according to representatives of Building Bridges Developmental and Community Services, has put a strain on their staff, making it more challenging to serve hundreds of their clients who have disabilities.

Building Bridges has provided programs for people of any age with developmental and intellectual disabilities for 50 years in the counties of Lonoke, Arkansas, Cleburne, Faulkner, Prairie, Pulaski, and White.

Since the pandemic, the organization has noticed a staffing shortage, according to Margie Peckat, the program coordinator.

“Since COVID we have found it very difficult to find people, they don’t even apply,” Peckat said. “It is so hard to find people to do this particular job.”

Building Bridges has just over 100 employees but services well over 300 clients, and according to Peckat, they are doing everything they can to locate more hires.

“One of the things I have done is gone to church groups and met with young people at colleges,” she said of her recruiting efforts.

According to Peckat, the organization still has more customers who are anticipated to be accepted into their program and a lengthy waiting list because of funds. According to her, the lack of staff may frustrate those who had to wait a long time to receive waiver approval for the program and are now forced to wait even longer for assistance.

“We have families that have been waiting for 16 to 17 years to get a letter saying you have your waiver, and then we have to say we don’t have any staff right now we’re still working on it,” she explained.

Peckat stated that although there is a waiting list, individuals or families with a member in need of their services can still apply through the Department of Human Services.

Peckat said anybody interested in applying to work for Building Bridges can do so at

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