Seasonal employee shortage impacting Public Works departments across Twin Cities

From mowing parks to dragging ball fields, seasonal Public Works employees create the backdrop for summer fun.

But from Plymouth to Minneapolis to Crystal and Golden Valley, cities across the Twin Cities metro are having a really tough time filling open jobs.

Golden Valley Public Works Director Tim Kieffer tells Fox 9 seasonal Public Works staffing is down by about 50%.

"If we don't have the workers, some of the non-critical functions that we provide have to be suspended, delayed (or) postponed," said Kieffer. That could include things like maintaining parks and picking up trash.

In Crystal, their seasonal staff is down about 25%.

"It requires us to juggle staffing a little bit...litter collection, weed whipping some of that stuff takes longer or isn't done as frequently," said Crystal Public Works Director Mark Ray.

In Minneapolis, the shortage is hovering around 70%.

"We made a conscious decision to go from like a 5–7-day rotation on getting things done to like a 12–14-day cycle," said Jeff Evenson, Director of Asset Management for the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board.

Most seasonal positions require workers to be 18 since they operate heavy equipment, but Bloomington and New Hope recently made some changes to job requirements and dropped the hiring age to 16 to help fill spots.

If people don't start applying soon, departments warn things could look a little different on your next walk around the park this summer.

If you are interested in applying for a seasonal Public Works position, you can click on the following cities for further information: Minneapolis, Crystal and Golden Valley.