Looking for seasonal work? Cities, Valleyfair and State Fair are looking to hire

As the temperatures rise, Minnesotans are thinking about summer. For cities and companies, the push is on to hire seasonal help.

Whether it's lifeguarding at the YMCA or operating rides at Valleyfair, it's not difficult to find open seasonal jobs across the metro. Hiring efforts are now ramping up as spring break comes to an end.

"It's slow, but it's ahead of last year, which is encouraging," John Stutzman, the recreation supervisor for the Golden Valley Parks & Recreation Department.

Stutzman has two months left to hire the staff he needs for Golden Valley’s summer youth programs, adult leagues and adult programs.

"I like to say… ‘this is the best summer job you'll ever have.’ You're outside. You're playing games. You're having fun. You're in the parks. You're working mostly days," Stutzman said.

Maria Hayden, the spokesperson for the Minnesota State Fair, said the fair hires about 150 seasonal employees who work throughout the summer and then about 1,750 staff members to work the actual 12 days of the fair. The Great Minnesota Get-Together currently is hiring for nearly 20 open seasonal positions.

"All positions, as they become available, are located on the fair’s website – mnstatefair.org. There is a career portal located on the website’s employment page that is updated regularly between now and the fair. Make sure to check back in early summer to learn more specifically about fair time only jobs and a mid-summer job fair. Working at the Minnesota State Fair is an opportunity to be part of welcoming guests to celebrate the best Minnesota has to offer in our state’s most storied end-of-summer tradition," she said in a statement.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Valleyfair said it’s hiring for a variety of roles, including park services, rides, food and beverage and security. Valleyfair is hosting a job fair on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Stutzman said he believes the pandemic changed the workforce, even affecting the timeline to hire for seasonal work. In pre-pandemic years, he used to start seeing applications around January or February, but that's shifted later in the year. He said in his department, they had to get creative last year to make up for staff shortages.

"We were down about 50 percent of where we needed to be. We had to modify some of the offerings. Fortunately, we didn't cancel many of them," he explained.