Have you noticed the growing number of “Help Wanted” signs in your town? The service sector is hurting for summer labor and the need is extending to campgrounds too. The campground worker shortages are so bad in Maine that the governor is proposing a radical idea. He wants to commute sentences of low-risk prisoners in order to fill temporary tourism jobs in places like Bar Harbor.
Campground Worker Shortages Hit Tourism Industry
Seasonal summer jobs and workamper roles are usually filled by full-time RVers, high school kids, and foreign workers. These seasonal positions range from camp hosts to housekeeping staff to amusement park employees. Most jobs are filled by early spring. However this year the recruitment scene is totally different. Newspaper headlines from coast-to-coast proclaim that the tourism industry is having a hard time recruiting help. Tourism employers across North America echo this sentiment.
In the U.S., a stricter limitation on foreign workers is the main problem. “Because of new limits on the seasonal worker visa program, restaurants, hotels and other tourist-centered operations are scrambling to find seasonal employees. Until Congress opens the door to more H-2B foreign workers, those businesses are finding ways to attract locals onto the payroll,” writes the Bangor Daily News.
But over the border in Canada, the Vancouver Business journal cites a high cost-of-living as the culprit. “We’re finding that there isn’t the supply of staff that there has been in previous years,” said Eddie Wood to the journal. Wood is owner of Sea to Sky Park Services. “Partly the issue seems to be cost of living in these regions.”
Back in Maine, the problem is so bad that news channel WLBZ says “Governor LePage proposed on a radio show Tuesday to commute the sentences of some of Maine’s low-risk inmates and to put them into the tourism workforce.” Some employers are for the idea, some are totally against it.
And in many areas like the Black Hills of South Dakota, campground owners are actually shutting down campsites. They just can’t find enough workers to maintain their properties.
It’s never been easier to get a seasonal job for RVers
Exchanging a few hours of your time each week is a great way to save money on rent. If you’re a full-time RVer and want to dodge the chaos of the summer vacation RV park crowds, “workamping” is the way to do it. Summer is already here but many employers are actively hiring for everything from camp hosts to grounds keepers and more. If you have a favorite campground, why not approach the owner to find out if they need temporary assistance? You could get free or low-cost rent out of the deal and spend summer in a beautiful place you enjoy.
Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.