Summer may be six months away, but the time is now to apply for St. Charles Park District seasonal jobs. With more than 600 summer positions available, job applicants are sure to find the best one that meets their interests, skills and schedules.
To learn more about the many job opportunities, candidates are encouraged to attend the Park District’s Employment Expo from 4-6pm on Jan. 10, at Pottawatomie Community Center, 8 North Ave. in St. Charles.
Representatives from various departments will be on hand to discuss the positions and answer questions. Computers also will be available for those interested in applying onsite.
All ages are welcome to attend the fair and apply for seasonal jobs – not only high school and college-age students. The park district also employs teachers, nurses, stay-at-home parents, retirees and others who have schedules conducive to seasonal hours.
The expo is held six months in advance of the summer season because interviews and training will be conducted prior as part of the employment process.
“If you don’t apply now, you may miss out on a summer position,” said Sabrina Killeen, park district supervisor and expo coordinator.
Supervisors agree the benefits of working at the park district go beyond the job itself. Not only will employees be earning a paycheck and gaining valuable skills, there is a sense of pride in working in the community where they may have taken swim lessons, played miniature golf or picnicked with their family.
“It encompasses that sense of community and instills pride in the staff,” said Aquatics Supervisor Rosie Fasching. “Working in your hometown really goes a long way in relating to and connecting with children and families who participate in park district programs.”
Positions range from camp counselors to park staff at various locations throughout the community. There are nearly 400 positions available at Swanson Pool and Otter Cove alone. The jobs vary from water safety positions such as lifeguards and slide attendants to customer service roles at the front desk and The Dive concessions. All aquatic positions have flexibility in scheduling, as most shifts are 4-6 hours.
“We have the ability to work with employees’ schedules and help them best meet their needs,” Fasching said.
While Pottawatomie Golf Course grounds crew shifts are less flexible, starting promptly at 5 a.m., the workday ends in the early afternoon. Some of the responsibilities for grounds crew include planting flowers, weeding and watering.
“We are looking for individuals who are hardworking, enjoy being outside and can commit to an early schedule,” said Denise Gillett-Parchert, golf course superintendent.
No two days are ever the same working for a parks grounds crew. Assistant Superintendent of Parks Jeff Goodrich said employees quickly learn to multi-task as they frequent multiple locations on a daily basis, performing various jobs including, but not limited to, replacement of signs, painting, fence repair, plantings, pruning of trees, shrubs and flower beds, mowing, preparing and maintaining multiple athletic fields for sport activities, taking care of farm animals, to maintaining our community natural areas and trails.
“Individuals and families visit the parks to have a nice experience, so our job is to ensure the parks are clean and safe. We’re looking for employees who understand that responsibility and can carry out our mission,” Goodrich said.
While a paycheck may be the main motivator for summer employment, the underlying skills staff will gain along the way are invaluable. Time management, communication, accountability and teamwork are just some of the professional skills that can be applied to future careers and quality of life.
“Aquatic employees learn the importance of exceptional customer service,” Fasching said. “Another factor they learn is the ability to speak professionally to the public and effectively communicate with children as well as parents.”
Managing a schedule outside of school may be a new experience for new job recruits. With early shifts at Pottawatomie Golf Course, Gillet-Parchert said employees quickly learn punctuality and time management.
“Some people might not be used to getting up at sunrise during the summer, but we have to get the work done before the heat of the day and the use of the course,” said Gillet-Parchert. “We do our best to have a good time with laughter and comraderie in those early hours of the day."
For information about the Employment Expo contact Sabrina Killeen at 630-513-4329 or firstname.lastname@example.org.