Austin City Council member launches lifeguard recruitment effort

Austin City Council member Paige Ellis (District 8) is kicking off a multi-pronged lifeguard recruitment effort for the Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD).

Ellis is set to attend a hiring fair at the South Austin Senior Activity Center Friday afternoon as part of the effort.

Ellis also announced last week she is sponsoring a resolution at the March 24 Council meeting to consider further strategies to incentivize recruitment and retention of lifeguards and other seasonal employees in order to ensure Austin’s public pools can open to full capacity this summer.

According to Ellis, some of these strategies could include:

  • Waiving the training fees required to become a lifeguard
  • Providing incentives or bonuses for full-time/longer-term commitments
  • Increasing hourly pay for all or specific employee classifications
  • Partnering with the Austin Parks Foundation and other stakeholders on creative solutions to fund these ideas

Last month, PARD launched a robust marketing campaign to recruit lifeguards and other seasonal employees, and has also announced they’ll be offering $500 bonuses as an incentive to stay on for the entire summer. 

However, PARD announced earlier this month that Barton Springs Pool will be closing on Mondays and Wednesdays due to a lack of trained lifeguards starting March 21.

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