Pools struggling to find lifeguards could impact capacities


ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Aquatic centers in St. Louis County are struggling to hire employees.

Many pools were closed last summer forcing seasonal employees to find new work. With the summer season just around the corner, they are having a hard time filling key positions like lifeguards and concession stand workers.

“Last year I had about 75 guards that were planning to return,” said Travis Cooksey, the aquatic fitness supervisor for the City of Maryland Heights. “I ended up with about 35 returning when we got to this point because they either found another job or their parents just weren’t comfortable with them working until COVID was completely over.”

Life Time Fitness in Chesterfield is expecting an increase in attendance to their indoor and outdoor facility this summer with restrictions lifting and want to hire more lifeguards for safety and experience purposes. Other facilities, like the Bridgeton Community Center, say they have enough employees to open, but the recruitment process has been a struggle.

Vicki Ventrella-Meyer is the assistant director of parks and recreation for the City of Bridgeton.

“We’re really kind of struggling right now to find those staff members,” she said. “If they needed a job they found a job somewhere else, and those that didn’t are either just coming into the workforce and may not know about us.”

If you or someone you know is interested in working at a pool you can contact your local recreation center. Here you can find links to apply to Aquaport in Maryland Heights, the Bridgeton Parks & Recreation, and Life Time Fitness in Chesterfield directly online.

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