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Businesses finding creative ways to find lifeguards for summer season

The almost two-year gap in new certifications is stretching the industry extremely thin.

MIDDLEBURY, Conn. — You may not be thinking about summer on a rainy day like today--but there's a summer mindset at Quassy Amusement and Waterpark. But before the park fully opens they are trying to hire more people 

“One, I think we have a lot of great incentives for new employees and I think it’s a great environment too," said George Frantzis of Co-owner of Quassy. 

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Safety is a top priority as the park continues hiring lifeguards for their waterpark.

“The skilled positions are tough these days,” said Frantzis. 

The pandemic continues to impact job shortages. Almost two years later businesses like Quassy are still feeling the effects of a shortage of lifeguards.

But they are trying to meet the hiring challenge head-on. The first thing is offering free lifeguard certifications.

“We’re going to train them. They just need to be committed to us for a good portion of the summer and they take away something that is valuable,” said Frantzis.

 Other incentives include:

  • 20% off tuition at Post University

  • Unlimited free Quassy access for employees 

  • Discounts and free passes to many area attractions including Six Flags and Lake Compounce. 

  • Discounted Quassy Food with employee ID cards

  • Family Employee discount Combo Pass Quassy wristbands ($15 a person)
         

This is just one-way places like Quassy are trying to fill that gap. The national shortage began in the summer of 2021 with many certification classes being canceled.

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The almost two-year gap in new certifications is stretching the industry extremely thin.

In a statement, The YMCA of Greater Hartford, said: “It has also been a struggle to retain lifeguards due to the challenging nature of the job and certification process.”

Despite the challenges, employers say that lifeguarding has considerable benefits for high schoolers and are hopeful to get more. 

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“It’s a great opportunity for a lot of young kids and that they can take these skills far beyond Quassy amusement park,” said Frantzis. 

The lifeguard training at Quassy will be from May 21-23. The YMCA also offers free certifications. 

DeAndria Turner is a multi-media journalist at FOX61 News. She can be reached at dturner@fox61.com

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