Nationwide lifeguard shortage hits Monterey

The Monterey Sports Center, which has the only public pool in the city, is feeling the impacts of a nationwide lifeguard shortage.Along with other businesses, the Sports Center is aggressively hiring lifeguards in anticipation of large summer crowds. Normally, the Sports Center has around 60 lifeguards for the summer. As of June, there are only 36. “We have people that are, I mean, taking a lot of time coming in on their off-time. It’s hitting us really hard. It’s impacting us, I think, drastically compared to other years,” Gabriella Montante, the lead lifeguard for the Monterey Sports Center, said. According to Montante, the pool sees anywhere from 300 to 500 swimmers during a summer weekend. “It’s hard when we are trying to work double shifts and trying to pull in people. We’re trying to continuously hire people, but we’re just not getting the people that we need,” Montante said. Lori Ataide, the Fitness Supervisor, says lifeguard certification courses were put on hold during the pandemic. The labor market for lifeguards is still trying to recover. As a result, the Sports Center’s pool operation hours are limited this summer. Public, recreational swimming is limited to specific hours during the day. The pool is open for members to swim laps during all hours of operation.According to Ataide, there is a shortage of employees for all positions at the Sports Center.Pre-pandemic, the majority of staff were either high school or college students. Most never came back after the Monterey Sports Center reopened its doors. “It’s a struggle. So I’m in charge of the personal training department and the group training department and it’s been a challenge to get the staff that I had before COVID back because a lot of them moved on or out of the area,” Ataide said.The Monterey Sports Center has about 4,000 members and has hundreds of drop-in visits from out-of-town visitors.

The Monterey Sports Center, which has the only public pool in the city, is feeling the impacts of a nationwide lifeguard shortage.

Along with other businesses, the Sports Center is aggressively hiring lifeguards in anticipation of large summer crowds.

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Normally, the Sports Center has around 60 lifeguards for the summer. As of June, there are only 36.

“We have people that are, I mean, taking a lot of time coming in on their off-time. It’s hitting us really hard. It’s impacting us, I think, drastically compared to other years,” Gabriella Montante, the lead lifeguard for the Monterey Sports Center, said.

According to Montante, the pool sees anywhere from 300 to 500 swimmers during a summer weekend.

“It’s hard when we are trying to work double shifts and trying to pull in people. We’re trying to continuously hire people, but we’re just not getting the people that we need,” Montante said.

Lori Ataide, the Fitness Supervisor, says lifeguard certification courses were put on hold during the pandemic. The labor market for lifeguards is still trying to recover.

As a result, the Sports Center’s pool operation hours are limited this summer.

Public, recreational swimming is limited to specific hours during the day. The pool is open for members to swim laps during all hours of operation.

According to Ataide, there is a shortage of employees for all positions at the Sports Center.

Pre-pandemic, the majority of staff were either high school or college students. Most never came back after the Monterey Sports Center reopened its doors.

“It’s a struggle. So I’m in charge of the personal training department and the group training department and it’s been a challenge to get the staff that I had before COVID back because a lot of them moved on or out of the area,” Ataide said.

The Monterey Sports Center has about 4,000 members and has hundreds of drop-in visits from out-of-town visitors.

Contributed by local news sources

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