NORTHGLENN, Colo. — As we drift closer to the hot summer months, the Polis administration is expanding upon its efforts to make sure swimming pools are open and accessible for Coloradans.
On Monday, Governor Jared Polis, the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) and the Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) announced the Lifeguard Training Initiative, which will cover "all eligible expenses" when it comes to hiring lifeguards, including the cost of lifeguard certification or recertification, as well as certification or recertification training.
The initiative expands upon last summer's Pools Special Initiative, which provided funding to cities affected by lifeguard and pool worker shortages in order to attract and keep public pool employees and allow these pools to operate at maximum capacity.
Colorado announces grant to fix statewide lifeguard shortage
“We want every public pool to be open and expand operating hours this summer. We are thrilled to be able to announce the Lifeguard Training Initiative and to help keep pools open and safely staffed this summer,” Polis said in a statement.
Several public pools across the state were forced to cut their hours due to lifeguard shortages — a problem that's been felt across the country. Northglenn has turned to a team of seniors — nicknamed the Immortals — to help fill its shortage.
Northglenn hires team of seniors to fill lifeguard shortage at Rec Center pool
The lifeguard initiative offers $258,000 in grant funding for public pools and public swimming beaches. Grants start at $1,000 and are capped at $20,000.
Applications are now open and close on Friday, May 19 at 5 p.m. Grants will be awarded by May 26, according to the state.
The lifeguard initiative will end on September 30.