A sign at Blossom Heath park tells visitors where they can apply for jobs with the St. Clair Shores Parks and Recreation Department.

A sign at Blossom Heath park tells visitors where they can apply for jobs with the St. Clair Shores Parks and Recreation Department.

Photo by Kristyne E. Demske

Help wanted in St. Clair Shores

City departments looking to hire

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published May 11, 2021


ST. CLAIR SHORES — Like many businesses throughout the area, the city of St. Clair Shores is having some difficulty hiring seasonal staff.

“I would be surprised if 75%-85% of the businesses out there don’t have an issue with hiring people,” said Parks and Recreation Director Henry Bowman. “I’ve seen Burger King close at night because they don’t have enough people. Arby’s, the same thing.”

The Parks and Recreation Department is in need of various personnel to work part- and full-time on a temporary or seasonal basis.

“No. 1, we’re looking for lifeguards for the pool. We’ll hire them 16 and older, and we will train them,” he said. “This is a great opportunity for a kid to learn how to work. It’s a really good job for a kid to teach them not to be on their phone. They have to concentrate on the water. They have a huge responsibility, and it’s a wonderful way to start learning how to be a productive worker.”

The department is also in need of concession workers, dock attendants, golf course personnel, pool attendants and clerks, a Zamboni driver, camp counselors, laborers, and gardeners in the lawn service and at the golf course.

“There’s a lot of city of St. Clair Shores beds that are taken care of by volunteers, but there’s a lot that isn’t. You go around to different parks, and the golf course, and those are people that are seasonal that come in and take care of this,” Bowman said. “We’re in desperate need of them. Beautification (Committee) does a ton, and thank God for them — they help out wherever they can — but they only have so many volunteers.”

Gardeners and grass mowers are needed to keep the city looking beautiful throughout the season, he said.

“As quickly as I can get people in, we’re putting them to work. We have so much that we need, it’s unbelievable,” he said.

Bowman said he’ll even hire people on a part-time basis, if that is all the time they have, to fill a full-time position. To check job openings, visit scsmi.net, click on “I want to” and then “Jobs” to find a full list of open city positions.

Extended unemployment benefits may be causing fewer people to be out hunting for jobs, Bowman surmised, but he hoped people would apply for jobs before their benefits come to an end.

“If you wait until you don’t have the big payments anymore, you’re going to end up having a job you don’t want,” he said.

The state of Michigan is also reinstituting the requirement that those on unemployment show they are job hunting to continue to receive unemployment benefits.

“It can’t end quickly enough. We’re going to be opening the pool Memorial Day weekend. We are being successful in bringing lifeguards in, (but) we still need more,” Bowman said.

He’s had problems getting applicants to show up for interviews, as well.

“At one time, I had four in a row. No show, no call, nothing,” he said. “Now we’re getting the applications where people are showing up. I think they’re starting to realize the free money’s not going to last, I need to make some money, and we’ve got to do the best we can.”

The Department of Public Works is also struggling to hire seasonal employees.

“We only have one of our, normally, four to six seasonal employees who comes out and helps us,” DPW Director Bryan Babcock told City Council during budget hearings in April.

He said beginning as a seasonal employee cutting grass or trimming trees is a great way to get started in a great career in the department. If he can’t hire enough employees, he said, some tasks will not get done.

“We’re going to have to forego some street sweeping, tree trimming, just to keep up with the grass,” he said. “We can’t skimp on that.”

For more information, visit scsmi.net.