DES MOINES, Iowa — It may still be winter but the City of Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department is already looking ahead to summer. Staff is hard at work hiring seasonal employees.

The city’s Parks and Recreation Director, Ben Page, said his department is hiring lifeguards, camp counselors, and people to help maintain parks. In total, the city wants to hire more than 300 people for these summer jobs.

Last year, due to staffing shortages, pools had to be closed at times. The city is trying to ensure that doesn’t happen again.

Page said the city is not only starting the hiring process earlier, but it’s also increasing wages by about $5 per hour.

“We surveyed our last year’s staff and they gave us a lot of great ideas. We’ve employed every single idea that they’ve given us to recruit people, not only returning staff but also new staff,” he said. “So I think this year we have our best opportunity but, I would again say, we just need everybody’s help. If you want to help us guarantee that your neighborhood pool’s going to be open this summer, help spread the word on these jobs.”

Page said high school and college students looking for a summer job while school is out aren’t the only people filling these jobs. Retirees looking for part-time work to keep busy have also been filling these positions in recent years.

People interested in applying can do so on the city’s website.