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Unless more people apply to be lifeguards, many Phoenix pools may be closed

In a job market where the search for part-time employees is difficult, the city is hoping to stand out.

PHOENIX — Your neighborhood city pool may be closed this summer unless hundreds of new lifeguards dive into those job openings.

“We are in desperate need of several 100 lifeguards,” Becky Hulett, the Phoenix aquatics supervisor, explained.

The city ran into the same problem last summer. It needs several hundred lifeguards in order to fully staff all 29 city pools this summer.

“I will tell you that each year it seems to be more and more difficult finding lifeguard candidates,” said Hulett.

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Because of the lifeguard shortage in 2021, more than half of the city’s 29 swimming pools were closed and the ones that were open had limited hours.

That’s exactly what the city is trying to avoid this summer.

Teens and college students may have the most to gain from being a lifeguard.

“This is probably one of the best jobs that a teenager could have. And it's not only because you're doing life saving skills, and you're benefiting the community. But it's a job that teaches kids leadership, teamwork, things that they can take to their careers as they move as they get older,” Hulett said.

Pay is a little more than $14 an hour and the hours are flexible. Also, college students get 10% off their state school tuition.

However, in order to qualify for the position, first-timers need to complete 28 hours of training. Recently, the city of Phoenix lowered the cost to $20.

In a job market where the search for part-time employees is difficult the city is hoping to stand out.

“I would say as far as this job goes this is this is a place where not only are you learning life skills, but you're also meeting people from the community meeting people from other areas of town that become lifelong friendships,” Hulett said.

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