MARTIN COUNTY, Fla— — Businesses throughout Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast are scrambling to find seasonal help. They say that positions often times filled by students are now sitting empty.
“We’ve seen a drop in the number of applications,” said Martin County aquatics and parks administration director Todd Foust.
Sailfish Splash Waterpark reports a 25 percent decrease from 2018 to 2019 with at least a dozen vacancies left to fill.
‘I think we have a fully employed economy right now that we are contending with and to be honest, there’s a lot of different opportunities for teens right now a lot more than they used to have,” said Foust.
The department is now looking at offering incentives in the future to attract more candidates similar to Walmart’s recent decision to offer free SAT prep to teen employees.
“We’ve looked at the possibility, we do a lot of certification training and paying for that certification training,” said Foust.
The department is also looking into increasing salaries for the summer of 2020, which would first have to be approved by the county. However, existing employees say they are appreciative of their current positions.
“I get to come home from college and work here where other jobs don’t always have that flexibility,” said Haley Yates.
Career Source Palm Beach County stresses to the young adults they work with that their first job doesn’t have to be their dream job.
“Every position, every job that they have provides them with an opportunity to get them new skills in their toolbox,” said young adults program manager Patricia Bastidas.
Bastidas works with 17 to 24-year-olds and often times encourage them to look at industries like hospitality and retail as a way to improve their soft skills.
“Focus in on communication skills, stay away from the slang and just think this is the first step to a growing career and that exploration is the key,” said Bastidas.
That’s exactly what Martin County resident Jake Engel says he’s doing while working at Sailfish Splash Waterpark.
“If an internship with maybe something I want to do in the future comes up then maybe I’d consider that, but as far as summer jobs go this is as good as it gets,” said Engel.
For more information about Career Source Palm Beach County: CLICK HERE
To apply for a job with Martin County: CLICK HERE