Hiring Hoosiers is a new initiative from RTV6 that works to connect Hoosiers to employment opportunities, career development resources, training programs and educational paths. In our Hiring Hoosiers reports we are taking a closer look at barriers to employment and things that get in the way of people getting the jobs they need to support themselves and their families. For more information, visit HiringHoosiers.com.
INDIANAPOLIS — Many of us worked summer jobs as teenagers as a way to earn extra cash, or just because our parents forced us to, but a summer job can open doors — and minds — to a career than can last a lifetime.
Indy Parks has more than 400 job openings for young people this summer, and the seasonal gig can evolve into a full-time profession.
But before any of that can happen, Indy Parks needs to hire the hundreds of seasonal workers. Haley Dickey was once one of those employees.
“So back in the summer of 2011, I was offered a lifeguard position at Ellenberger pool," Dickey said. "I was there for four summers.”
LEARN MORE | Summer job opportunities with Indy Parks
Now the assistant park manager at the Garfield Park Burrello Family Center, Dickey said she had no intentions of working for Indy Parks beyond college.
“At the time, I was going to school for journalism," Dickey said. "I wanted to be a print journalist with newspapers, and that was really my path. Then my love for parks kept growing.”
Indy Parks director Linda Broadfoot says Haley’s story isn’t uncommon.
“Many parks professionals and others get their start in parks positions," Broadfoot said.
Being a lifeguard, camp counselor, food service worker, or cashier can lay a foundation, and teach young people skills they’ll carry with them forever.
“We learned responsibility, time management, people skills, how to handle confrontation, how to problem solve,” Dickey said.
“Showing up on a regular basis, all that stuff gets built when a young person is 16 and older getting these jobs,” Broadfoot said.
With 8 million visitors to Indy Parks every year, employees are helping provide places and experiences that will inspire others.
“They’re also crucial to us delivering on our mission so it’s so much deeper than just sitting in a lifeguard chair and getting a paycheck," Broadfoot said. "They really are contributing to the health and wellness and vitality of our city every year.”
Starting pay for available jobs range between $8 and 10 dollars an hour.