CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It has been a hot summer, and many people are staying cool at the pool. However, a national lifeguard shortage has forced some pools around North Carolina to close or cut hours this year.
The YMCA of Greater Charlotte says it needs to hire more than 300 lifeguards and aquatic staff to keep the pools open this year. Ame Guy, the associate director of aquatics, says the YMCA hired 350 team members, but they still need more help.
“We definitely had to filter some of our hours, cut down on what we were offering,” Guy said. “Normally, what we could offer, some of our water parks just didn’t open because we didn’t have enough staff.”
Guy says the YMCA needs 450 aquatic staff members to keep all the pools and water parks open. Right now, they are able to maintain openings with 350 lifeguards.
Guy says the pandemic delayed lifeguard training classes, and by then, most of the regular lifeguards had gotten other summer jobs.
“We knew we were in trouble in April when our classes weren’t filling up like we needed them to,” Guy said.
The YMCA is still hiring lifeguards for the end of summer and fall seasons. For more details or to apply, click here.