WICOMICO COUNTY, Maryland – Wicomico County recreation, parks and tourism officials say more people than ever are visiting county parks. But, they also say they need more hands on the bridge in a big way. “We had real difficulties in finding qualified, competent and willing staff to work. It’s a challenge, I think, in almost every industry. People find it difficult to find work. So we’re going through this, ”said Steve Miller, Wicomico County Director of Recreation, Parks and Tourism.
Miller says his department is currently seeing about a 33% decrease in the workforce. He says it puts pressure on the interview. This is because normally they rely on a team of four to six inmates a day to help keep the parks clean. “We relied on a reliable team of inmates who would work with our park staff to help pick up litter and help keep our parks clean. They have not been available in our parks since the start of the pandemic, ”Miller said. “It’s great that people are using the parks, but it’s our responsibility to keep them in place, and it becomes a bigger challenge,” Miller said.
Lack of staff also makes it more difficult to help people and organizations organize events in parks. “We’ve seen it too, where more events are happening outside. It takes a heavy toll on the staff. This is in addition to the usual tasks of preparing a facility, cleaning up after the event, and staffing during the event in many cases. “
Miller says the need for staff is also having an impact on the operations of the Wicomico County Civic and Youth Center. Many of the team who run dealerships there have left. Now, the crew is largely made up of new recruits, according to Miller. It highlights the Alabama concert that took place in July, which was the biggest show in Civic Center history. “So you can imagine that when you have a massive event like this and you have new people, it’s a challenge. We called on groups of volunteers for this. We couldn’t have done it without the volunteer groups. We probably had about 50 volunteers that night, ”Miller said.
Miller says he encourages people to take a look at the jobs available in the county. He says the needs will only increase in the coming months. “We only see it getting worse, as the further we get out of the pandemic – and hopefully fully recover it here at some point with all the variations and things going on – more and more events. will come back. In some cases, we’re starting from scratch, ”Miller said.