Southeast Michigan Metroparks offer bonuses for hiring seasonal workers

Huron-Clinton Metroparks is offering a $1,200 bonus this summer in hopes of achieving adequate staffing levels in this tight labor market.

The Southeast Michigan Parks System aims to hire about 1,000 part-time workers this season for positions such as lifeguards, maintenance workers, food service workers and support staff, according to a news release.

“Workers across the country continue to navigate the ripple effects of the pandemic and vacancies can be found in every corner of the country and region as organizations struggle to fill vacancies,” says the press release. “During the ongoing pandemic, visitors continue to flock to parks and outdoor spaces in search of recreational opportunities and the health and wellness benefits that come with them.”

The starting salary for seasonal jobs ranges from $10.40 to $16.50 per hour. The $1,200 bonus is a one-time payment paid at the end of the summer based on the number of hours worked. Additional perks include free lifeguard lessons and free or discounted use of facilities, including golf, water parks, and concession stands.

Metroparks faces competition from the recreation departments of many other park systems and municipalities.

The city of Detroit is hosting a series of job fairs starting Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Adams Butzel Recreation Center. Open jobs include lifeguards, recreation program coordinators and park ambassadors, with pay starting at $9 an hour, though that climbs to $15 an hour starting July 1, according to a press release.

The parks system is also trying to recruit police officers with new benefits, including a retention bonus of $1 per hour for all hours worked from Memorial Day to Labor Day, a 457 tax-deferred pension plan, comprehensive health plans and flexible schedules.

The Metroparks system consists of 13 properties in Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties. Once struggling for visitors, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a surge of sick visitors sheltering in place for months.

“The people who serve Metroparks provide an invaluable service not only to visitors to our parks, but also to our local communities and region,” Metroparks Director Amy McMillan said in the statement.

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