Dubuque’s Bunker Hill reopens for golf season with staffing shortages concerns

Dubuque city officials say staffing shortages have created concerns regarding how the rest of the golfing season at Bunker Hill will look like.
Published: Mar. 21, 2022 at 11:03 PM CDT
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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - Monday marked the start of golf season at Bunker Hill Golf Course, but Dubuque city officials say staffing shortages have created concerns regarding how the rest of the season will look like.

Dan Kroger, the city’s recreation division manager, said there are 38 job openings on the city’s website and, of those, around 25 are in leisure services, including Bunker Hill.

”The impact would be on service delivery,” he mentioned. “Especially in the maintenance side of things, there are several different aspects of the course that we have to maintain, whether it is the greens, the collars around the greens, the fairways, as well as the roughs.”

Kroger said not having enough maintenance workers could mean they would have to prioritize which parts of the golf course they would keep in top shape.

The city is also looking for people to work at the clubhouse serving food and drinks.

“If you are short, there is a waiting game, so people are going to have to wait for us to get to them basically,” Kroger said regarding how staffing shortages specifically impact the clubhouse.

And it is not just the impact on service, but also on schedules and on the workers with those who do show up having to pick up the slack.

“It is a concern for burnout for our staff,” Kroger added. “So here at the golf course that means our staff is working 50, 60, 70 maybe even 80 hour weeks, same with the maintenance staff.”

The city has taken steps to try to attract more people into working in leisure services. That includes paying for certifications for lifeguards and increasing wages for maintenance workers.

“So staff that were working here two years ago were getting between $10 to $11 an hour for seasonal work,” Kroger explained. “Now we are over $13, almost up to $14 per hour. Pretty significant.”

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