Summer jobs, hiring outlook: ‘This year has been more challenging than others’

Three Rivers Parks will hire around 700 seasonal workers this summer but say, partly because so many others are hiring, they’re struggling to find the workers they need. 

"Certainly we know that this is going to be the most normal summer we’ve had since 2019, so a lot of employers are ramping up, trying to get staff, so there’s just high demand for seasonal staff right now," Mike Tracy, the head of Human Resources for Three Rivers Parks said. 

Three Rivers needs to hire people to work maintenance, the visitors center, aquatic invasive species monitoring and boat rental. Tracy says, their typical demographic for this part-time, seasonal work is high school and college students or retirees. He says, this year, he’s finding that people are less available, so they’re working fewer shifts. Tracy says, they’re flexible with hours, so it’s not an issue, but it does mean they’ll have to hire more people overall. 

"In the past, they might have wanted to work four to five days a week and maximize their hours and lately we’ve been seeing they maybe only want to work one, two, three shifts a week because they have other commitments, or they’re making up for lost time with friends, families, vacations, that kind of stuff," Tracy said. 

Tracy says one of the most challenging jobs to fill is lifeguard. He says qualified workers are in high demand, so there’s a lot of competition. Plus, during the pandemic the last two years, it as more challenging for people to access certification classes, so fewer people may be certified. 

This summer, Three Rivers Parks is providing the training to become a lifeguard for free. They’ll also pay employees for the time it takes to get trained. Minneapolis Parks is also offering training to get more people certified. 

Minneapolis Parks says they’re also struggling to hire seasonal workers. Since February, they’ve had an ongoing public campaign with fliers and billboards, encouraging people to apply. 

Click here for more information on Three Rivers Parks job opportunities.