Johnson County Community College is offering employees a one-time $250 payment to get the COVID-19 vaccine, as the college makes plans to open up campus more fully for in-person classes in the fall.
The announcement comes as vaccines become increasingly available in Johnson County and local health officials project all Johnson County adults who want one should be able to get a vaccine within the next month.
JCCC says employees will have priority access in April to vaccine clinics being operated by AdventHealth Shawnee Mission at Church of the Resurrection in Leawood.
The college is pushing to have more in-person classes and activities on campus this summer and fall after a year of hybrid and remote learning and wants as many staff members to be vaccinated as possible.
The JCCC Incident Response Team, a five-member committee responsible for monitoring and safeguarding college employees and students through the pandemic, says all full-time and part-time JCCC employees will be eligible for the $250 remuneration.
Employees will be asked to provide proof they have successfully completed the vaccination, which can come in the of form of a vaccine card you receive when you get vaccinated.
Staffers will be able to add the $250 payment to their paycheck or elect to contribute the money to JCCC’s MealSHARE program, which helps pay for on-campus meals for students facing food insecurity.
Some faculty members are excited at the opportunity to receive the vaccine along with the $250 incentive.
“I was surprised about that, but I think it’s really nice of them to encourage people to get vaccinated, because obviously I want all my coworkers to be vaccinated as well,” Melissa Wasserman, a professor who teaches Fashion Merchandising and Design and has been leading in-person classes this semester.
JCCC is one of the growing list of organizations offering incentives to workers for getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Both Aldi’s and Trader Joe’s, two national grocery chains with local franchises, have announced there will be paid time off to employees who plan to receive the vaccination.
“I think if it’s doable for the company to be able to offer an incentive, then yes, it’s good to encourage employees to get vaccinated,” Wasserman said.
Some JCCC students who work for the college will receive the $250 incentive to get vaccinated. Beyond that, JCCC currently has no plans to offer vaccinations or vaccination incentives to all students, but college officials are not ruling it out.
“As far as a student vaccination program, I don’t know if that’s been fully explored yet.” Alisa Pacer, JCCC’s Director of Emergency Management, said. “I do know that many of our student employees that work for the college are eligible and excited about it, so that’s one way that we’re reaching students.”
Some colleges and universities around the country have also announced they will require students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine before returning to campus.
JCCC has not yet announced mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirements.
Currently, the college is offering hybrid learning through a mix of in-person and virtual classes. The campus will continue to offer hybrid learning through the summer, and officials say they hope to transition to more in-person classes in the fall.