Plymouth Struggles to Fill Seasonal, Regular Jobs
Help wanted signs are everywhere you look these days. The labor shortage is affecting not only companies but cities too. Hiring managers say there are several reasons for the worker shortage: high unemployment benefits, child care issues and fears of contracting COVID-19.
In Plymouth, seasonal and temp workers are responsible for maintaining public spaces. In a typical year, the Plymouth Parks and Recreation Department would hire 23 seasonal workers and about eight temporary positions.
“April 1, we had four people actually show up the first day,” said Brian Swartz, the city’s park forestry supervisor. “We’re down to 14 employees where we normally have.”
The Plymouth’s Parks and Recreation Department is stretched thin because of the worker shortage.
“We actually contracted more of our lawn mowing out to contractors and hope they can get it done for us,” explained Swartz.
Staff on hand is having to work longer hours and much harder to get everything done.
“The mowing might not get done every five to seven days as normal. It might be seven to 10 days,” said Swartz. “We will still be doing our ball field maintenance and our painting for our associations on schedule.”
The Plymouth Ice Center is desperate to hire at least 10 more part-time workers as well.
Erik Halverson, manager of the Plymouth Ice Center, says it’s been challenging this year to attract applicants.
“We may be getting one applicant every two to three weeks, and they don’t always pan out,” he said.
Plymouth Ice Center Might Have To Change Hours Due to Worker Shortage
Full-time staff is flexing its hours to cover busy times during the evening and weekends. But Halverson says they can’t do this for much longer.
“Right now, it’s a band-aid to fix this, but to sustain it, that would require us to keep increasing our ice rental rates,” explained Halverson. “I think we’ll be okay though June, but once we get to the end of July and August, it could get desperate.”
Ice center officials say people use the facility year-round, and they don’t want to have to reduce hours.
“We provide a service for all the kids in this community, and we want this to be their facility,” said Halverson.