VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – The phrase “help wanted” carries a lot of weight these days, especially for Vigo County Parks and Recreation.
“It’s always not good to see that few of applications,” said Asst. Supt. Adam Grossman, “It tells you there’s something else going on.”
Managing hundreds of acres of property, the county parks and recreation department is dealing with a different kind of problem… a shortage in seasonal help.
Grossman brought concerns to Monday night’s meeting.
“It’s a good opportunity for people, it’s a great job, a great learning experience for everyone,” he said, “but in the last 4 years, we’ve seen a drastic decline in applications.”
Grossman says 4 years ago, they saw about 170 applications and the numbers have only gone down from there. This year, he says, they’ve seen only 20 to 30 applications so far, which has since been narrowed down to 10. Those few numbers, he says, causes a great strain to the department and employees.
“We’re understaffed right now the way it is,” he said, “We have an awesome staff that goes well above and beyond to accommodate, and we try the best we can with what we have.”
He says even with 10 applications, that doesn’t necessarily mean all of them will be a guaranteed hire.
“There’s always qualifications and making sure we have the right people for the right job, and it just doesn’t fit people,” he said, “Some people decide after the interview process maybe they want to go in a different direction. So just because you have that number of applications does not mean you’ll get that number of qualified individuals.”
Grossman says they’ve made calls to a few candidates and will start interviews next month. In the meantime, the department will continue to work together to find other solutions to help increase the candidate pool.
“We’re thinking about going to council and ask for more pay per hour may be one solution,” he said, “maybe restructure our seasonal employment, times and dates, to try to better accommodate people.”
If you’re interested in applying as seasonal help for the department, you can click here to get started with the application process.