KILLEEN, TX — With Texas’ unemployment rate hovering at about 6%, seasonal employment is something that many people plan to take advantage of to get some extra cash.
Many companies are kicking off hiring sprees for seasonal employment. The City of Killeen's current Aquatic Center manager says she's excited to be a part of the team, especially because she found her passion through a summer job.
At 15-years-old, Claryce Free started working at Killeen's Family Aquatic Center as a lifeguard.
"I started first as a lifeguard, and then a swimming instructor where I taught lessons, and after that I moved up to pool manager," she said.
It’s a summer job that’s turned into her career.
Free is hoping to hire area teens who are looking to get their feet wet and enter the work force.
“We do usually hire a lot of the city's youth that’s here. So we can start them in a starter position and kind of move them up so they can get that job experience during the summer. We like to start them in a starter position and kind of move them up so they can get a little bit of job experience. So, we have pool cashier positions, we have lifeguard positions, we have pool manager positions and an aquatics supervisor position as well as swimming instructors," she explained.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the number of employed youth ages 16 to 24 hovered just under 50% in the summer of 2020. With COVID-19 vaccinations increasing and restrictions rolling back, that percentage is expected to rise.
Although it's temporary, seasonal employment can provide a little boost to the local economy, and it's beneficial to young people with getting ahead in their future careers
“Seasonal employment is very important for various groups of the workforce. If they had some work experience, then that can build a portfolio that goes on their resumes so they can get their next and better job," said Dr. Robert Tennant, Professor of Economics at A&M Central Texas.
For those aspiring life guards and swimming instructors, Free says just take a deep breath and dive right in.
Free says the park will reopen with 100% capacity and masks will be required when guests are not eating or in the water. Social distancing will be encouraged, and hand sanitizer stations will be located throughout the park.
To take a look at the positions open at the Aquatic Center, click here.