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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — We’re learning more about a process intended to help school districts recruit workers.

New Hanover County Schools adopted its Outside Work Experience plan back in 2006. Now we know how many people it has impacted.

“It makes it difficult for us as a school system to pay the salaries that private industry can pay,” New Hanover County School Board Chair Don Hayes told us in October.

The goal of the program is to attract and keep certain school district employees. Both New Hanover County Schools and Brunswick County Schools have adopted the Outside Work Experience plan.

Click here to see the list of Outside Work Experience recipients

Hayes said the plan was intended to give credit to classified employees, like secretaries or technicians, for work they have done before being hired by the district.

“This was just an attempt or is an attempt to level that playing field some to where we can be more competitive in hiring employees,” he said during the October interview.

And it pays to have outside work experience in the county.

A graduation coach at Hoggard High School with 20 years of outside experience brings in an extra $675 a month thanks to the credit.

A maintenance project coordinator for the district got $1,147 extra each month for his 32 years of experience.

As we told you last fall, Superintendent Tim Markley’s former secretary, with whom sources say he has had a personal relationship, makes an extra $468 a month for her eight years of outside experience.

Nearly 260 school district employees have received Outside Work Experience pay increases since 2007, according to records WWAY received through a public records request. In addition to the technical jobs, many are for support associates and teacher assistants.

Hayes says the board has not formally discussed changing the policy.

The salaries range from a 27-cent per hour increase for an after school group leader to the $1,147 a month for the maintenance project administrator.

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