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Summer worker shortage threatens parents' plans

Openings for lifeguards and camp counselors remain in high demand as school lets out.

ATLANTA — The worker shortage is hitting summer hot spots in a big way. Currently, the labor department says there are nearly two job openings for every unemployed person seeking work. And now camp, pool and summer program leaders say they're struggling to find staffing headed into summer.

“It use to be all kids wanted to do was spend their summers at the pool working as lifeguards being outside and enjoying it, so we’re not sure what it is," Brian Borden, the Parks and Recreation Director for the City of Brookhaven, said.

The city of Brookhaven opened two of its three pools over the Memorial day weekend. Briarwood Park Pool and Murphey Candler Park Pool will remain open through Labor Day, while the Linwood Park Pool will remain closed due to renovations. 

Borden said they currently have 18 lifeguards on duty, which are enough, but they're still actively recruiting more people to apply, "we’ve raised the pay for the lifeguards here in Brookhaven to 15 dollars an hour.” 

YMCA Group Vice president Becky Shipley said they are currently looking to fill 200 spots over the summer. They are also raising wages and offering a $300 bonus for counselors who commit to working the whole summer.

“We also increased all of our starting pay rates and opened up some jobs to people who are as young as 15 years old," Shipley said. 

Borden said that parents who can't get their kids into a camp or a nearby pool still have other options, "there are parks, trails, great softball and baseball fields and even basketball courts."

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