Help still wanted, but Oswegoland Park District to open pools next month

Oswegoland Park District's Civic Center Aquatic Park, 5 Ashlawn Avenue, Oswego.

Oswegoland Park District pools will be opening in June, but officials say finding enough help to staff them continues to be a challenge.

Tom Betsinger, park district director of recreation, confirmed that staffing part-time seasonal positions has been a continuing challenge for the agency.

The park district is currently short on lifeguards for its aquatics department, and is looking to add staff to the early childhood department, gymnastic program, and operations department, according to Betsinger.

But despite these vacancies, Betsinger said both the Civic Center Aquatic Park at 5 Ashlawn Avenue in Oswego and the Winrock Park pool at 21 Winrock Road in Boulder Hill will be open this summer. In addition, the concessions stand will be open at the Civic Center.

The Civic Center Aquatic Park is scheduled to open June 4 through Aug 14 and the Winrock Park pool is scheduled to open June 11 through Aug 7.

Betsinger said that while they are still looking for more staff like most other employers, they don’t believe it will affect the summer schedule at this point.

“We anticipate being able to staff what we have scheduled as hours of operation throughout the season,” he said.

Betsinger said what they saw last summer and what a lot of other aquatic centers and pools are finding, is that as the summer winds down, many staff members, traditionally older high schoolers and college kids, take the last couple weeks of summer off to vacation, spend time with their friends, or prepare for school.

Betsinger said park district staff is currently evaluating the wage scale for all part-time employees.

Something unique about this year, Betsinger said, is that they have received quite a few applications, with no follow through from the applicants.

He said it is becoming more and more frequent that an application comes through, staff reaches out for a conversation or interview, and then gets no response.

“It’s kind of an anomaly,” said Betsinger, “I have not seen that historically at this volume.”

Betsinger said that as a community organization, the park district is looking primarily for local high school and college students for their part-time summer positions. Those interested can apply at the Oswegoland Park District website.

Last week, the neighboring Fox Valley Park District announced it will not open its Phillips Park Aquatic Center on Montgomery Road in Aurora due to a shortage of lifeguards. The park district, however, said it will open its Splash Country Water Park, on Barnes Road, also in Aurora.