City of Charleston offering bonuses and free certification courses for lifeguard positions due to shortage

Local News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A lack of lifeguards is creating problems at pools all across the Lowcountry. City of Charleston officials say they are bringing opportunities to the table to get more employees.

“We are really just desperately looking for folks that either have lifeguard certification or wish to get it,” says Laurie Yarbrough, Director of Recreation for the City of Charleston.

She says the pandemic halted hiring.

“While we retained staff all year, we are really short in vacancy. We have a lot of vacancies on applicants and are short for the summer months,” Yarbrough says.

The City of Charleston is looking to hire 30 aquatic employees for the summer and with few people applying, they are offering a $200 bonus and free certification courses.

“You can work a full time job and come do this part time too. We have part time and full time positions open, so right now it is about finding folks who are qualified and want to work,” Yarbrough says.

Employees’ say the flexible hours and benefits has made them stay.

“This was a very safe place for us during the pandemic and it still is very safe. I am very appreciative of the safety,” says Courtney Faller, Water Safety Instructor at the MLK Pool in Downtown Charleston.

With the busy summer hours quickly approaching and lifeguards needed 12 hours of the day, officials say they need lifeguards more now than ever before.

“We are really trying to beef up our employment so that we can be in the community. We are especially excited because of COVID-19 having kept our numbers down so small last summer, we are grateful to be back open,” Yarbrough says.

To apply, visit the City of Charleston’s website Employment page, here:

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