COVINGTON, Ky. — Community pools across the state hope to open Memorial Day weekend, but many are struggling to hire lifeguards.
One northern Kentucky community is offering incentives to prospective employees to make sure its pools are open for the summer.
What You Need To Know
- Many community pools across the state are struggling to hire lifeguards
- The city of Covington is trying to hire 60 workers to staff its three swimming facilities
- To enter potential applicants, the city increased pay by $2 an hour
- Learn how to apply below
Randolph Park Pool in Covington still had its cover on Friday, about three weeks out from its opening day of June 11.
That’s what people can expect it to look like this summer, provided the city can find enough people to keep swimmers safe.
“It’s a great opportunity, especially in the summer, for the kids to have something to do, and not get into trouble. When they open it up, it’s a fun time. It’s always packed, like from the moment it opens to the moment it closes, every single day,” said Nick Dokich, who has lived just across the street from the pool for three years.
The pool normally has three to four lifeguards on the clock at any given time. Dokich said he’s really hoping the city can fill its currently empty lifeguard chairs.
“This provides a public service, really, to the people in this community, and not having lifeguards to be able to staff that would mean that we don’t have a pool to open for the kids. It’s a big result there for not having lifeguards,” he said.
Goebel Park, home to Covington’s other pool, will need to fill its lifeguard chairs as well before any swimmers can jump in this summer.
Covington Parks & Rec and Swimsafe Pool Management are trying to hire up to 60 lifeguards, pool attendants, and front desk workers to staff Randolph Park Pool, Goebel Park Pool, and the Latonia Water Park/Splash Pad, which offers hoses, sprinklers, slides and play equipment for kids.
To help entice potential workers, the Covington Board of Commissioners voted to raise the pay by $2 an hour for the season, which begins June 11, and ends August 8 this year.
Pool attendants and desk workers will make at least $10 an hour, and lifeguards will make at least $12 or more, based on experience, according to a news release from the city.
Covington Parks & Rec Manager Ben Oldiges said the summer employment is perfect for high school and college students.
“It’s a fun job. There’s a lot of energy, it can help you build a resume and gain work experience, and of course you can earn money while doing it,” he said.
The release said Covington prefers to hire teens who live in the city. That’s the way it should be, according to Dokich.
“That seems like a really good program, especially for the older kids who have swam here previously,” he said. “Increasing the pay was the smart thing to do, and it’s exciting to see that Covington’s prioritizing the workers in that way.”
If prospective lifeguards aren’t certified, Swimsafe will certify them for free, and offer pay during the process.
Anyone interested can apply online at Swimsafepool.com. A resume is not required to apply, but applicants must be at least 15 years old.