The Tulsa Parks Department is having trouble filling their summer positions.
Whiteside Park is one of the community centers offering day camps this summer – but only if they can staff it. Right now, that’s a problem.
The lack of applicants could delay openings for city pools or limit the size of day camps.
After last year, when summer parks programs were cancelled because of COVID-19, Parks Director Anna America said it's more important than ever to fully open this year.
"It's a big deal to be able to open those things this year and we need some people to come help us out," she said.
At Lacy Park, city employees are cleaning up an almost brand-new pool that was empty last summer. The pool is one of four the City plans to open this summer, if the City can hire enough lifeguards. The pool at Reed Park will remain closed because of renovation work.
America told the Tulsa Parks Board Tuesday the combination of stimulus payments, and enhanced unemployment benefits have contributed to a lack of candidates for entry level jobs. The city pays camp counselors $8.65 an hour, and pay for lifeguards ranges from $9 to 9.36 an hour, depending on the job.
"We're finding, like a lot of people around the country, that it's a tough time to hire entry level positions and we really want to open those pools and get the camps going," said America. "But we'll just try to keep as many of the programs going for as much of the community as possible regardless of who we get."
For lifeguard and day camp counselor job information, you can find job descriptions on the city’s website here.