Lifeguards needed: Pools struggling to ‘fill the chairs’

Jordan YMCA's outdoor pool located on the north side of Indianapolis (WISH Photo/Drew Blair)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A summer pastime might face limitations in central Indiana due to a shortage of seasonal workers.

Many pools across the area opened over the Memorial Day weekend lacking the number of lifeguards managers say would be needed to operate all hours with full accessibility.

The Jordan YMCA located on the city’s north side has reported a shortage of applicants that has left more than a third of its guard positions unfilled.

The center’s aquatics director, Nicole Shaw, said her facility is not alone.

“There is a huge shortage citywide. I’ve talked to other directors from other organizations and they’re also having a really hard time filling their chairs,” Shaw said.

The position has traditionally attracted young teen or college-aged workers on summer break from school. The YMCA hires teenagers with proper certification starting at 16 years old for lifeguarding and 15 years old to teach swim lessons.

In the annual Teen Summer Job Outlook, Challenge, Gray & Christmas, Inc. said the number of teenagers looking for summer jobs has been on the decline each of the last three years.

The group offered a few explanations for the decrease, including that more teenagers are working year-round while others are involved in unpaid activities like sports or volunteering to stand out when applying for college.

In May, Mayor Joe Hogsett announced Project Indy, a program designed to provide teenagers job training, internships and employment opportunities.

Project Indy aimed to employ 1,000 young workers in roles that included city park lifeguards and camp counselors.

Interested applicants can review the city’s seasonal openings by clicking here.

Read more on Jordan YMCA’s job opportunities here.

Comments are closed.