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Jennings Sunday: Parks hiring for seasonal jobs

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NORTH VERNON — The North Vernon Parks and Recreation is accepting applications for more than 60 seasonal jobs, mostly for high school and college students.

Applications will continue to be accepted until the start of spring break, which is the last week of March.

“That way, the young people we don’t hire can use their vacation to apply to other summer employers,” said parks director Chad Speer. “We don’t want them to wait until May to find out they don’t have a summer job.”

Speer added his department needs referees and umpires for soccer, youth baseball and youth softball. He said his department already is signing up participants for those sports.

Other jobs include lifeguards, pool staff, concession workers and front gate cashiers.

Speer said there’s a good reason why his department starts looking for summer employees in February.

“When the weather turns warmer, everything hits us at once,” Speer said.

When the spring sports season begins, his department is expected to keep busy well into the summer, he added.

Most of the positions pay minimum wage, although certified lifeguards at the North Vernon city pool can earn $8 to $10 an hour, depending on experience, Speer said.

Preference is given for previous employees with a proven job performance record.

He said some lifeguards have worked for his department as long as six consecutive summers.

North Vernon Mayor Harold “Soup” Campbell said that should not discourage others from applying for a job.

“There’s always a group that migrates out,” Campbell said. “So for what Chad has coming in for returning summer workers, there’s an identical group going out.”

Since many applicants are applying for their first job, Speer said there are two mistakes that young people frequently make when filling out applications.

They fail to ask someone permission to use their name as a reference.

They don’t use legible handwriting.

“We have to look through 150 applications,” Speer said. “So if we can’t read what they’ve written, those applications tend to get tossed.”

He added that while his department might not check every reference on a job application, they will check at least one.

And if that person is not aware they’ve been listed as a reference, it won’t be viewed favorably.

Applications are available at the North Vernon Parks and Recreation office, 604 N. State St.

The building is located on the west side of the city pool parking lot.

For those unable to get to the office during normal business hours, applications can be found in an outside box.

All applicants are encouraged to take their application home to ensure it is filled out both clearly and completely.

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