Parks and Recreation Provides Important First-Time Job Opportunities

Ashburn, VA (February 1, 2022)

Ninety-six percent of U.S. adults agree that teenagers and young adults benefit from their first jobs or volunteer experiences, according to a newly released National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) poll. Top benefits include:

  • Developing skills
  • Building confidence
  • Gaining valuable work experience

Park and recreation departments are top providers of first-time job and volunteer opportunities for young adults, including positions such as lifeguard, camp counselor, junior ranger and more.

“Park and recreation agencies offer diverse first-time job opportunities that allow young adults to gain experience while taking part in meaningful activities and giving back to their communities,” said Kevin Roth, NRPA vice president of research, evaluation and technology. “Not only are those new workers able to develop important skills, but also park and recreation departments that employ these individuals can have a hand in training future leaders.”

NRPA’s Workforce Development and Career Exploration in Parks and Recreation report finds that one in three park and recreation departments currently offer a workforce development or career exploration program targeted to teenagers, young adults and other people entering the labor force for the first time. Additionally, a top goal of these programs is to develop future park and recreation leaders. To read the report, click here.

To view the interactive charts with the survey results, click here.

To view the full-size infographic, click here.

To learn more about NRPA, visit


About the National Recreation and Park Association
The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is the leading not-for-profit organization dedicated to building strong, vibrant and resilient communities through the power of parks and recreation. With more than 60,000 members, NRPA advances this mission by investing in and championing the work of park and recreation professionals and advocates — the catalysts for positive change in service of equity, climate-readiness, and overall health and well-being. For more information, visit For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit