Posted on January 31, 2018 at 11:35 am by Meghan Revolinsky
By: Natalie Bonham
The Menlo Park Gymnastics program cut classes recently due to an ongoing staff shortage. When the program is at capacity it employs seven full-time employees and averages between 30-40 temporary part-time employees. The program relies heavily on part-time employees with much of the staffing consisting of high school and college aged students looking to work around their school schedule and other obligations. On average, the Gymnastics program needs between six and eight staff per hour to adequately provide the current mix of programming and student to teacher ratios. Currently, the program has four teaching staff per hour. Also, the staffing shortage was exacerbated with the recent retirement of a full-time gymnastics instructor along with other vacancies.
A temporary solution was implemented at the start of the winter session which reduced classes by one per hour, or roughly 40 classes per week, until enough staff can be hired to operate gymnastics programing at capacity. The classes that were cut had lower participation numbers than other classes at the same hour.
The gymnastics facility was completely rebuilt in 2012 to a 19,400 square foot facility and includes all standard Olympic size gymnastics equipment. Since the remodel in 2012, there has been a dramatic increase in programming, participation numbers and annual revenue. The program serves between 1,300 to 1,500 participants a week with three to six concurrent classes an hour and close to $1.5 million in revenue in fiscal year 2016-17.
Hiring and retaining qualified staff is not unique problem to Gymnastics or to the other programs and services provided by the City of Menlo Park in recent years. The Community Services Department and other departments in the City continue to experience high vacancies due in part to the high cost of living, long commutes, and a competitive job market among other factors. Other cities and employers on the peninsula face similar challenges.
Staff continue to reach out to various temporary employment websites and career fairs in the County to help recruit more employees. Recently the City raised wages for of many its part-time positions to coincide with the City’s recent Classification and Compensation Study that was conducted. If anyone is interested in working in the Gymnastics program, please visit the employment opportunities page.