Will the Tuscola City Pool open this year?
At this point, it’s up in the air, City Administrator Drew Hoel said, due to difficulty finding enough lifeguards.
“We don’t have a lot of certified applicants, so we’re trying to invent some extraordinary measures to drum up support,” Hoel said. “The city council decided (this past Monday) to wait two weeks to make that decision, but it certainly could threaten our ability to open. Right now, we do not have enough applicants to open the pool.”
The pool typically opens around Memorial Day.
“We’re doing some outreach, trying to find other applicants, trying to find training opportunities,” Hoel said. “One of the challenges is just getting certified.”
Hoel said lifeguards are paid above minimum wage, instead attributing the shortage to nationwide hiring issues and not having the pool open last year.
“I’ve read a lot of stories about other entry-level positions where employers are having a hard time finding employees. I don’t really know,” he said, adding that the certification challenge is “the biggest issue for us locally.
“Certification is good for three years,” he said. “You miss a year, and the next thing you know, your pool of qualified people is very much limited.”