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Looking for lifeguards

Updated: 11/30/2017

We are so excited the new indoor aquatic center is open at the Shakopee Community Center. However, staffing the center has been a bigger challenge than we anticipated.

During the summer, our SandVenture aquatics staff has mostly comprised of college students and some high school students. Over the school year, however, college students head back to school and our aquatic center lifeguards are mostly high school students from Shakopee and the surrounding cities.

For us, it is very important to keep the leisure and lap pools open as much as possible. However, to open the pool safely with all our play features and big slide takes a minimum of eight lifeguards. Thus, at times when we do not have eight lifeguards available, we may have to close slide or play features.

Lifeguard and families at poolNo-school days can be particularly challenging, because our staff is not all from Shakopee, keeping the pool open when Shakopee schools are not in session is challenging since our lifeguards come from different school districts, who all have varying days off. Many lifeguards are also involved in activities out of school hours, including athletics, choir, band, etc., which limit their weekday availability. Athletes, especially swimmers, often have competitions on Saturdays, too.

One way we are trying to ramp up staffing is to hire full-time lifeguards who have dedicated hours. We recently hired one full-time lead lifeguard and have a second position open. Hiring a full-time lifeguard will not completely solve the staffing challenge, but it will provide consistency in the late afternoon, evening and with swimming lessons.

Lifeguarding requires a specialized certification, and our department is fortunate to have two full-time staff members who can train and certify lifeguards. We will be offering a lifeguard certification class over the holiday break, Dec. 26-29, and encourage anyone 15 years and older seeking a great part-time job to sign up for this course. We hire many of the lifeguards we train!

The part-time staffing challenge is not unique to Shakopee Parks and Recreation. As you drive around Shakopee, you will see “Now Hiring” signs everywhere. Hy-Vee just came to town and is hiring. Shutterfly, FedEx and Amazon are hiring their seasonal staff, and many local retailers and restaurants are also hiring. At this time of year, there are simply more part-time jobs than available employees. However, our department is dedicated to finding ways to staff the indoor aquatic center as best we can and ensure our pools are open to customers as much as possible. If you have ideas, please let us know.

  1. Updated: 11/30/2017