county hires new CYF administrator | News, Sports, Jobs


HOLLIDAYSBURG — Blair County has hired an administrator for the Office of Children, Youth and Families, a position that has been filled on a temporary basis for approximately two years.

Paul A. Bookhamer, who began working for the county in August as a Social Worker II, holds the most senior position in the office responsible for county child protective services.

The commissioners, at Tuesday’s meeting, approved the hire effective Monday and set Bookhamer’s starting salary at $64,056 a year.

“He brings a wide variety of experiences to the job,” Commissioner Laura Burke said after Tuesday’s meeting.

While Bookhamer worked several years in manufacturing before taking the county social worker job, Burke said Bookhamer worked at a Perry County juvenile detention center and was passionate about working with youth.

“We struggled to find a candidate who had both the passion for this job and the management experience necessary to handle this position,” Burke said in a statement announcing the hiring. “At Paul, we are lucky to have found both.”

Bookhamer was among three people recently interviewed.

The last full-time director, Ashley Gehrdes, resigned in March 2020.

After Gehrdes resigned, the director’s job temporarily reverted to others in the office until October 2020, when County Human Services Office Director James Hudack agreed to temporarily manage both offices.

Hudack, who was on the county staff interviewing the most recent candidates for the position, endorsed Bookhamer’s hiring.

“I believe Paul’s leadership will be a valuable addition to the agency and also to Blair County,” Hudak said.

Burke also predicts that Bookhamer will do well in his new position.

“I think he will be a great asset.”

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