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Billings Parks and Recreation Department still understaffed days before summer activities begin

South Park Pool
Posted at 3:37 PM, Jun 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-04 19:15:09-04

BILLINGS — Every year, the Billings Parks and Recreation Department offers over 100 seasonal jobs, which they say are mostly filled by high school and college students.

These positions include lifeguards, camp counselors, concession stand workers, and park attendants. Pay for these positions ranges from $11.50 to $16 an hour, but officials say they're struggling to fill the jobs.

“We’re working on getting (the pay) up, as new budgets come in, we can hopefully do that,” says Kory Thomson, the superintendent of recreation.

The parks and rec summer camps begin on June 7, and the swimming pools open on June 9. With deadlines fast approaching, they are still short dozens of seasonal workers.

“We’re still looking for about 10 more lifeguards… we’re looking for about 10 more camp counselors… and are short about 20 park maintenance workers,” said Thomson.

The parks department will continue hiring into the summer, but Thomson fears if they don’t fill the positions by July services could be reduced.

Although lifeguard training has been moved mostly online, it still takes roughly two weeks to complete, and a two-day, in-person training is required as well.

The parks and rec department has also seen the largest number of youth enrolled in their summer camps in recent memory.

The department says they offer flexible hours and many full-time positions in their seasonal offerings.

To apply visit the city website.