North Charleston

Car Window tintingin North Charleston, SC

Troop-Films-LLC-phone-number 843-732-4325

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Certified paint protection film installation

Troop Films has been installing paint protection film for over 4 years now, and we are always improving our techniques.

Auto Tint Shop North Charleston, SC

Trust the Troop Car Window
Tinting Difference

 Paint Protection North Charleston, SC

In today's hectic, always-on-the-go world, having a car is essential for transportation around the city. It's hard to imagine life without a car. Without them, you wouldn't be able to make it to work, the grocery store, the laundromat, or important events like your children's sports events. Having a vehicle is a necessity these days because we use them so much, but many car owners don't make strides to protect their investment or what might be inside that investment.

Aside from purchasing an extended warranty for your car, one of the best ways to protect your car is with professional vehicle window tinting in North Charleston, SC. What a warranty won't do, however, is boost curb appeal, reduce sun glare, block harmful radiation, protect your valuables, and provide privacy 24-hours a day.

At Troop Films LLC, we specialize in the finest ceramic window tints and certified paint protection films in South Carolina. We have been installing tints and paint protection film for several years and are always improving our techniques. As true window tinting experts, we have had the pleasure of working on so many different types of vehicles - from multi-million-dollar sports cars to junkers barely worth a grand. Doing so has allowed owner and certified installer Stephon Troop to refine his window tinting game and master techniques like clear bra installation. Today, he has a full-service team behind him, ready and waiting to serve loyal customers just like you.

Unlike some of our competitors, we take meticulous steps to ensure we provide the best work possible on your vehicle. We don't believe in taking shortcuts just to save a few cents. Instead, we go the extra mile to ensure all our customers are satisfied, whether it's completing special request projects or simply taking the time to ensure our work is done right. Whether you own a vintage Ferrari or a busted-up Ford, we aim to provide the highest quality car window tinting around.

When we say we're detail-oriented, we mean it. Here are just a few reasons why customers choose Troop Films for their car window tinting in South Carolina:

  • We remove vehicle parts like blinker covers to ensure dirt and grime aren't trapped.
  • We use computers to make sure your tint or coating is installed properly and precisely.
  • We remove emblems and badges so that we can wrap underneath them, giving your car more protection.
  • We wrap all edges of our ceramic window tints, so your job is seamless, and your tint remains effective year-round.

Curious about how we protect so many cars in South Carolina and the metro North Charleston area? Expertise, customer service, and affordable prices are just the start. Our excellence starts at the top - here are a few words from Troop Films owner, Stephon Troop.

SERVICE AREAS

Meet Your Certified Vehicle Window Tinting Installer

Stephon and his wife, both originally from the chilly state of Pennsylvania, moved to North Charleston, SC, for the warm beach weather and friendly Lowcountry residents.

Though Stephon now has many years of car window tinting under his belt, his training was completed under one of the best car window tint installers in the United States. Installing window tints, paint protection films, and ceramic coatings alongside during this time helped Stephon learn all the techniques and tricks needed to succeed. After training up north, Stephon continued to learn in Texas, where he became a certified paint protection and window tint installer. Since that time, Stephon has mastered even more car protection techniques to offer his customers a comprehensive list of services.

 Auto Tint North Charleston, SC

Car Window Tinting
in North Charleston, SC

Here is a simple truth: not all vehicle window tinting services are equal. Sure, you could spend a few bucks on a DIY window tinting kit, but going this route almost guarantees trouble. From unsightly fading to film bubbles, these offer the bare minimum in protection. With subpar quality, these kits also peel very quickly, causing you to spend more money to re-apply or have your tint professionally installed.

Speaking of window tinting services, few companies in South Carolina combine professional applications with the highest quality window tint film available. That's what sets Troop Films apart from other window tinting businesses - quality film, expert application, meticulous attention to detail, and the best customer service available.

Unlike some of our competitors, we use SunTek ceramic window tinting film, which is among the best in the industry. This technologically advanced product line provides outstanding, top-of-the-line films. With ceramic technology, infrared rejection and solar performance are enhanced, resulting in a non-metal construction that doesn't cause interference with portable or onboard electronic devices.

Our SunTek ceramic tint options come in a range of nine darkness levels. Each shade of tint has an ultra-attractive appearance, is non-reflective, and helps prevent color changes. With this fantastic film, you, your passengers, and your vehicle's interior are protected from 99% of UV rays from the sun. With outstanding infrared and heat rejection properties, your vehicle's interior comfort remains cooler and more comfortable all year long.

 Tint Services North Charleston, SC

Most Common Reasons to Tint
Your Vehicle's Windows

Here are just a few of the most common reasons why South Carolina vehicle owners choose Troop Films for window tinting:

Privacy

Privacy

When we ask our customers why they want to tint their windows, privacy is often first on their list. When you begin to think about it, it makes sense. Why allow other drivers to invade your privacy when you can keep prying eyes off of your identity and personal belongings? It's not unreasonable to want privacy for you and your family while you're driving. You never know who you will pull up next to at a red light, and with our vehicle window tinting services in North Charleston, SC, they don't have to know you either.

Style

Style

There's something inherently cool about having your windows tinted. Even if you're not trying to impress anyone with your car, having your windows tinted helps give it a refined, modern look, which enhances curb appeal. If you're getting tired of the way your car or truck's exterior looks, spice it up a little and bring it into Troop Films for professional window tinting. We think you will be happy with the results.

Comfort

Comfort

Have you ever sat down in your vehicle in the middle of summer, after it's been sitting outside all day? It feels like your car has turned into an oven. Sometimes, it can get so hot in your car that it's hard to grip the steering wheel. As you probably already know, summers in South Carolina can be brutal. When the temperatures heat up in the Lowcountry, your vehicle traps most of that heat, causing interior temperatures to reach unsafe levels. But when you have your windows tinted with Troop Films, your car will stay cooler in the spring and summer. With ceramic film, glare from headlights and streetlights is also reduced, meaning you can see easier without having to strain your eyes. More comfort and more safety - what's not to love?

Health and Safety

Health and Safety

When you think about car window tinting, most folks don't think about the health and safety benefits involved. But when it comes to you and your passengers, safety should be top of your list. High temps in your vehicle, usually caused by UV rays, are a safety concern not only for your skin and eyes but for your car's safety mechanisms. This is especially true for your airbags, which can be damaged and left inoperable when interior temperatures are high enough. Obviously, that's a huge safety risk.

Fading Dashboard

Fading Dashboard

Over time, your vehicle's dashboard will take a beating when your car is left out in the sun. The combo of harmful UV rays and high heat can ruin dashboard materials, leaving them cracked, faded, and in need of repair. Fixing your dashboard can be a costly endeavor. However, doing so can be avoided with high-quality ceramic tints from Troop Films.

 Ceramic Window Tint North Charleston, SC

Certified Installer

Benefits of Vehicle Window Tinting
in North Charleston, SC

If you're still on the fence about ceramic window tinting for your vehicle, consider
the following benefits of our SunTek films:

 Ceramic Coatings North Charleston, SC
  • Unrestricted Communications - some window films contain traces of metals, which can cause interference with devices. Our metal-free films won't interfere with your cell phone, GPS, satellite radio, or other electronic devices that you use while driving.
  • Resistant to Color Changes - Our technologically-advanced window films are scientifically created to give you an attractive, non-reflective appearance without color fading.
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty - You read that right - when you buy window tints from Troop Films, your products are covered by the manufacturer against peeling, adhesive failures, changes in color, cracking, and delamination. Some restrictions do apply.
  • Precise Installation - When you work with Troop Films, you can have peace of mind knowing your window tint will be applied seamlessly and accurately. That's because we have access to core pattern-cutting software that trims your window film tightly. With our precise installation, you can rest easy knowing your tint will fit the make, model, and year of your vehicle like a glove.

The Ultimate Protection: Car
Window Tinting and Paint
Protection Film in North Charleston, SC

They say the first cut is always the deepest, and that's certainly true when it comes to your vehicle. Few things are as frustrating as getting out of your car, only to realize that a stray rock has dented your favorite car or truck. Dents and scratches from road debris like rocks and even acids from bugs all take their toll on your vehicle's overall appearance and value. Along with UV rays, "road rash" from winter salt, sand, rocks, pebbles, branches, and more will compromise your vehicle's integrity and can mean lower resale value.

If you're looking for total protection from heat and UV rays as well as road debris, we recommend car window tinting in North Charleston, SC along with our paint protection film application. Paint protection film, also called your vehicle's clear bra, provides a shield of protection from road rash, preserves your car's paint job, increases its longevity, and can increase its resale value. Paint protection film is very useful for everyday use, especially if you're driving on the highway or simply want to protect your favorite car. Clear bras are also helpful for work vehicles, which often receive dents and scratches due to the nature of their work.

At Troop Film, our SunTek paint protection film is among the highest quality films in the industry. Common application areas include:

  • Vehicle Paint
  • Door Handles
  • Headlights
  • Rear Fenders
  • Front Bumpers
  • Mirrors
  • Hoods
 PPF North Charleston, SC

Our paint protection films are completely reinvented products that merge the hydrophobicity of ceramic with premium, self-healing paint protection film. Common benefits of having your vehicle protected with paint film include:

01

Endurance

Your car's finish will stay flawless and fresh with our car protection films, which shield against salt, rocks, insects, and other debris.

02

Resistance

Our HydroResist top-coat protection boosts your vehicle's stain resistance by limiting dirt and water accumulation on your protection film's surface.

03

Self-Healing

It sounds too good to be true, but our films really do heal themselves by using the heat from the sun or your vehicle's engine.

04

Look Great

Our paint protection films are available in high gloss and matte finishes, leaving your car with outstanding optics and clarity.

Have Questions? We've Got Answers!

In addition to the highest-quality car window tinting products, our customer service team excels at answering any questions you may have. We're here to help in any way and can even help determine which kind of protection is best for your vehicle. Call, text, or fill out the inquiry form on our website. Before you know it, your car will be super-stylish and even safer to drive with the help of Troop Films LLC.

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Latest News in North Charleston, SC

Robert Thomas Iron Design, LLC expanding operations in Charleston County

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Robert Thomas Iron Design, LLC, a modern blacksmithing company, today announced plans to expand operations in Charleston County. The company’s $2.9 million investment will create 45 new jobs over the next three years.Founded in 2013, Robert Thomas Iron Design, LLC intertwines traditional blacksmith techniques with modern machining and fabrication methods to craft iron pieces ranging from custom architectural ironwor...

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Robert Thomas Iron Design, LLC, a modern blacksmithing company, today announced plans to expand operations in Charleston County. The company’s $2.9 million investment will create 45 new jobs over the next three years.

Founded in 2013, Robert Thomas Iron Design, LLC intertwines traditional blacksmith techniques with modern machining and fabrication methods to craft iron pieces ranging from custom architectural ironwork commissions to volume-produced pieces of furniture, decorative hardware and cookware.

Relocating within the county to 56 Hayter Street in North Charleston, Robert Thomas Iron Design, LLC’s new facility will expand the company’s operational footprint to accommodate production line growth.

The expansion is expected to be complete in the second quarter of 2023. Individuals interested in joining the Robert Thomas Iron Design, LLC team should visit the company’s careers page.

QUOTES

“We are excited about the next phase of Robert Thomas Iron Design’s growth and are very happy that we are able to do this on the historic Navy Base. Our expanded operations will enable our growing community of craftsmen and designers to have the space, equipment and support they need to keep the spirit of blacksmithing thriving in Charleston.” -Robert Thomas Iron Design Owner Robert Thomas

“The success of our existing industries is critical to South Carolina’s strong and growing economy. Today we celebrate Robert Thomas Iron Design, LLC’s expansion and 45 new jobs in Charleston County. Congratulations, and we look forward to their continued success.” -Gov. Henry McMaster

“Congratulations to Robert Thomas Iron Design, LLC on expanding in Charleston County. It’s particularly exciting to announce the growth of a modern blacksmithing company such as Robert Thomas Iron Design, LLC. We look forward to seeing how the company continues to inspire modern craftsmanship in Charleston County and across South Carolina.” -Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III

“Blacksmithing is experiencing a modern artistic revival, and we are proud that Robert Thomas Iron Design, LLC has committed to growing this craft in Charleston County. Their investment and creation of new jobs is a welcome addition to the community.” -Charleston County Council Chairman Teddie Pryor

Charleston Co. sets aside funds for affordable housing, emergency repairs

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston County has dedicated tens of millions of dollars in an effort to increase housing availability and to keep seniors living in their homes.Council has put in place a $3 million emergency home repair program and have set aside $20 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds for affordable housing efforts.Some of the repairs eligible for the emergency repair program include roofs, windows and floors as well as sustainability and weathering.County Council Chairman Teddie Pryor said the...

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston County has dedicated tens of millions of dollars in an effort to increase housing availability and to keep seniors living in their homes.

Council has put in place a $3 million emergency home repair program and have set aside $20 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds for affordable housing efforts.

Some of the repairs eligible for the emergency repair program include roofs, windows and floors as well as sustainability and weathering.

County Council Chairman Teddie Pryor said the county will be going into the community to see who needs these emergency repairs first, and soon after, there will be an online application for people to apply for help.

“To keep housing affordable, you keep people in them,” Pryor said. “If people can’t afford to stay in because of their floors, their roofs, their windows, then the house is boarded up. They move out, and the house is no longer affordable.”

Those who are eligible for the program will then get a call from the county to get the repair process underway.

“We set a criteria of 62 and above targeting the seniors, you know, but we can go back and revisit that,” Pryor said. “Those are the most vulnerable people. They can’t do it on a fixed income, so we want to make sure they’ll be able to stay in their house and won’t be boarded up.”

“County council as a whole is concerned about the least of these, and these are the folk that we’re trying to help,” Charleston County Councilmember Henry Darby said. “That they would be able to stay in their homes and to maintain a lifestyle that’s enduring.”

As for the affordable housing program, Pryor said county staff is working on a plan to spend the $20 million. That plan is scheduled to come back before council next month.

Charleston County Councilmember Robert Wehrman said he has high hopes for what may come out of that plan.

“A tool that efficiently manages these funds and gets them to be it developers, be it non-profits, be it housing authorities, whomever can create and preserve more units in an efficient way,” Wehrman said.

Pryor meanwhile, hopes the $20 million that was set aside could turn into a regional effort.

“Let’s just say, for instance, North Charleston, we have land, we got money,” he said. “Dorchester County may have land. We have funding. That way it’s this collaborative effort and gets us where we need to be versus going out to buy land and do it on our own.”

The chairman said there will be a second phase of the emergency home repair program in the future, but added that the county is focused on helping as many people as possible for now.

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Victim alleges years of harassment, by North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A longtime City of North Charleston employee is accusing North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey of inappropriate sexual advances both before and during her time working for the city.DeLisa Reynolds and Keith Summey have known each other for decades. In the late 1990’s DeLisa and her husband at the time, along with Keith, and his wife, Deb...

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A longtime City of North Charleston employee is accusing North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey of inappropriate sexual advances both before and during her time working for the city.

DeLisa Reynolds and Keith Summey have known each other for decades. In the late 1990’s DeLisa and her husband at the time, along with Keith, and his wife, Deborah, owned a post office together on E. Montague Avenue in North Charleston.

“So, the four of us renovated, we did work, we ran businesses, we opened a post office,” said Reynolds. “I took that service on.”

Being self-employed, Reynolds said she was concerned about her lack of health insurance. That’s when the Summeys offered her a part-time job working as a receptionist for the City of North Charleston in 2001.

At that time, Summey had been mayor for around seven years.

“I started about 21 years ago and have been there ever since,” said Reynolds.

Throughout her time working for the city, Reynolds moved up the ranks from a part-time receptionist to a secretary a year later, then to an administrative assistant in 2006, a special events coordinator in 2016, and earlier this year she became archives and history coordinator.

Reynolds says the sexual advances by Mayor Summey started before Reynolds began working at the city. She says they began at the post office the Reynolds and Summeys owned together.

“I was at the post office working and he came in. And I went into the closet and he followed me. and that’s where it all began. It was groping. and kissing me,” said Reynolds.

She approximates the time frame of that was in the summer of 1999.

“How many times? I can’t tell you…I can’t tell you that. I don’t….it was so many.”

She said things progressed over the following years and never completely stopped and Summey would still make comments.

“Up until November, this past November it was ‘Hey, let me get a kiss.'”

Reynolds says she was never comfortable reporting the alleged harassment out of fear of retaliation.

“No. I didn’t have anyone to report that to. At that time it was a man’s world. HR was a man director that was very close with the people in the executive department. So I didn’t think I was safe enough to say that or would I lose my job for saying that to HR? I didn’t want my family to know what was going on. I didn’t want my children to know, my husband. So, I just kept it.”

Reynolds considered leaving her job but was concerned about finding the same amount of money and a job she liked as much as her city job.

Reynolds says she started noticing what she describes as an “abuse of power” by Mayor Summey and other executive staffers at the city.

“I don’t know that I’ve ever really noticed so much of it until it actually happened to me directly,” said Reynolds. “Because I was dedicated to the city and the mayor. My goal always was to make sure my job reflected on him as me doing a good job for the city. It was to make him and the city look good.”

During her time working in the executive department, Reynolds says things would stick out to her.

“You notice promotions and things going on and people that were getting more than what others weren’t getting for doing double the work. Other people were coming in because they were friends or whatever. Granted, I was a friend of the mayor as well and the family. So I felt ‘well, they’re protecting me by offering me a position.'”

She says she really started to notice the “abuse of power” when she saw other women becoming involved.

“Just by the way they would disappear together,” said Reynolds. “But I didn’t give it a whole lot of thought.”

Reynolds’ job was switched and she began working at Riverfront Park, something she did not enjoy at first because she felt isolated.

“Maybe that’s because I was starting to see things a little bit differently,” said Reynolds.

Reynolds never planned on coming forward with the allegations. She tells News 2 she planned to stop working for the city at the end of Mayor Summey’s current term which ends in 2023.

“I had already started making a 2.5-year plan. That when the mayor left, I would go too. And I would go silently. And they wouldn’t let me finish out my tenure that way.”

Last October, Reynolds’ adult son made a negative comment on social media about Elliot Summey, Mayor Summey’s son.

Reynolds believes the actions of her son had a direct impact on her, even though she told the Summey family that those were her son’s beliefs and words and did not reflect her own.

“I took a direct hit. My workload got different, I did things that I should not have had to do as a salaried employee, I put in a lot of extra hours that I should not have to do,” said Reynolds. “When they stopped talking to me back in October, things were building and building and I was being scrutinized with everything I did.”

Fast forward to the beginning of 2022, Reynolds was removed from her role of being a Special Event Coordinator at Riverfront Park and given a new role.

“They created this position so they could remove me from what I had worked so hard for.”

Reynolds’ new title is Archives and History Coordinator. A job she says she’s not qualified for nor did she want or ask for.

“They were forcing me out of my position and creating a position I technically do not have the knowledge to do.”

Then, in February 2022, Reynolds filed a formal complaint to the city detailing what she calls the abuse of power.

Reynolds says because of this recent situation, she is upset and frustrated and has changed the way she is thinking about her future.

That’s why she decided to come forward with these allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct and abuse of power.

“I started to rethink…this is not the life I want to live.”

A press release sent to News 2 by the lawyers of Reynolds says if a formal investigation is not made into the allegations, Reynolds will take legal action.

The City of North Charleston responded with the following statement on Sunday. They declined a request for comment on Monday.

“On January 14, 2022, Ms. Reynolds was notified of a lateral move to Archives and History Coordinator. This transfer did not negatively affect Ms. Reynolds’ pay or benefits with the city. Ms. Reynolds’ complaint was received shortly thereafter.

Employment History:Part-time receptionist – 2001Secretary – 2002 Administrative Assistant – 2006 Special Events Coordinator – 2016Archives and History Coordinator – 2022

Mayor Summey and the City deny the allegations raised by Ms. Reynolds’ lawyer and will not comment further on threatened or pending litigation.

City of North Charleston”

Reynolds is currently on leave from her job as part of the Family and Medical Leave Act due to medical issues. She was approved for leave on January 21st, 2022, was reevaluated on April 14th and her leave was extended until June 24th.

This is a developing story, check back for updates.

$200M development next to TopGolf to create over 700 jobs

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The TopGolf in North Charleston is expected to open at the end of this year, but there’s another development right next to it that could bring hundreds of jobs to the Lowcountry.Crews could be seen on Friday clearing around 30 acres of land for the Uptown at Centre Pointe development, which will bring more amenities to the area between Interstates 526 and 26.The planned development is located across the street from the North Charleston Coliseum and the Performing Arts Center, along Internat...

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The TopGolf in North Charleston is expected to open at the end of this year, but there’s another development right next to it that could bring hundreds of jobs to the Lowcountry.

Crews could be seen on Friday clearing around 30 acres of land for the Uptown at Centre Pointe development, which will bring more amenities to the area between Interstates 526 and 26.

The planned development is located across the street from the North Charleston Coliseum and the Performing Arts Center, along International and Tanger Outlet Boulevards.

“We have two hotels. We have 300 apartments,” RealtyLink Charleston Principal Lenn Jewel said. “We have retail, restaurants, Waterwalk, which is long-term corporate housing and a little bit of office.”

The developer said the project will also have an 800-car parking garage. It will also an entertainment space and several more retail stores to the region.

“What we’ve created here with this dense development is a place you can tailgate before a hockey game,” Jewel said. “You can have dinner at a nice steakhouse before a Broadway show at the PAC. You can have drinks after a concert, so we’re really tied into the Coliseum Complex in North Charleston.”

Last week, the City of North Charleston rezoned 120 acres of land, so the developer could build the project with more density. Overall, it spans around 30 acres, with another 90 acres of wetlands being saved for conservation.

The city said the development is expected to create around 750 jobs.

“The larger part of the development is going to include a lot of mixed-use, which is what we like to see throughout the city is mixed-use, meaning people can live, work and play right where they live,” North Charleston spokesperson Ryan Johnson said.

The developer said the apartments and the hotel should be completed in 2024, with some of the other restaurants and stores possibly opening next year.

“You have restaurants at your feet,” Jewel said. “You have entertainment in the Coliseum at your feet. You’re close to jobs. You’re in the center of all of Charleston and the intersection of both interstates. It’s a great location.”

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Hot SC summer job market gets a lukewarm response as fewer youth apply

The cool, crisp water, still and clear, sits like a beacon, calling residents sweltering from the South Carolina summer heat to break the surface with a resounding splash.But not on Mondays and Tuesdays at some of the Charleston area’s community pools.At Splash Zone Waterpark in James Island County Park you can ride down the 200-foot-long slides and relax in the leisure pool, but there will be no lazying down the river.That attraction won’t open this season, and the park cut admission to reflect the closure....

The cool, crisp water, still and clear, sits like a beacon, calling residents sweltering from the South Carolina summer heat to break the surface with a resounding splash.

But not on Mondays and Tuesdays at some of the Charleston area’s community pools.

At Splash Zone Waterpark in James Island County Park you can ride down the 200-foot-long slides and relax in the leisure pool, but there will be no lazying down the river.

That attraction won’t open this season, and the park cut admission to reflect the closure.

And if you were looking for a more thrilling ride, you won’t get it at Splash Island waterpark at Mount Pleasant Palmetto Islands County Park.

That too was closed because the park system doesn’t have enough lifeguards to keep swimmers safe.

About a third of public pools across the U.S. can’t find enough lifeguards, leading some to reduce hours or close altogether, the American Lifeguard Association said.

Charleston area pools are among them.

Despite increased recruitment efforts this year, the Charleston County Parks and Recreation office said in a press release that some facilities have remained impacted by the current labor climate.

“We have experienced a shortage of lifeguards this year,” said Sarah Reynolds, public information coordinator for county parks.

It has mainly affected two waterparks — Splash Island, which has cut back from seven days a week in previous summers to four days a week this year, Wednesday through Saturday, and Splash Zone on James Island. That park is open only five out of seven days, from Wednesday to Sunday.

While apartment and private pools can operate without a lifeguard, simply warning bathers to “swim at their own risk,” pools run by towns and municipalities must ensure the safety of their swimmers and be amply manned by lifeguards.

Charleston public pools follow national lifeguarding standards, including those set forth by the Starfish Aquatics Institute, which requires a specific number of certified lifeguards on duty at all times.

“We have been fortunate with our other parks,” Reynolds said. Whirlin’ Waters in North Charleston and the beach parks are open with lifeguards and haven’t changed operations.

At the four Charleston city pools — one 50-meter open year-round, one water-heated pool available nine months out of the year, and two summer-only facilities — the ability to shift qualified staff members allowed them to remain open and mostly unaffected.

“We have to remain fluid,” Laurie Yarbrough, Department of Recreation director, said.

The city onboards 28 seasonal lifeguards for full-time and part-time positions in a typical summer to meet requirements.

This season “we have identified candidates, but at last count, we had 24 people in slots,” Yarbrough said.

The city is counting on 25 year-round aquatics employees and qualified part-time workers — it hired 10 water safety instructors but has openings for seven more — to fill the gaps.

“Yesterday, we had a lifeguard call out for illness, and another guard got sick during the day, so we had to close at 6 p.m. because we had no one to pull,” Yarbrough said.

The pools typically close at 8 p.m.

Addressing the issue

For the second year, the city of Charleston offered $200 sign-on bonuses for lifeguards who start and finish the season to encourage applications. It also pays anywhere from $100 to $200 for candidates to complete the training and certification program.

And the wage the city pays 16- to 20-year-old lifeguards is competitive at about $14 an hour.

Yarbrough said the industry is trying to alleviate the nationwide lifeguard shortage, changing the training and certification process and reducing costs by creating a hybrid system allowing for in-pool and computer instruction.

Yet Charleston remains among the other areas nationwide experiencing the shortage that began around COVID when pools didn’t open and couldn’t run instructor-based classes.

“We lost a whole cycle of training,” Yarbrough said. “I suspect this labor shortage won’t go away any time soon, especially in public settings like Charleston, where there are vacancies across the spectrum of summer positions.”

Broader hiring problem

Yarbrough pointed to Charleston’s 40 vacancies in jobs from recreational leaders to food services.

South Carolina’s job market swells in the summer, opening the door to employment for the state’s youngest work-age residents through various seasonal programs.

During the hottest months, employers count on augmenting the workforce to fill jobs at water parks, theme parks, museums and aquariums, said Dan Ellzey, director of the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.

There is no better time than summer break for South Carolina youth to gain work experience and learn the soft skills to help them succeed in their future careers.

But this year, these traditional summer employers are reporting fewer applicants for open positions as hiring got underway.

Charleston County Parks had positions open for park attendants, camp counselors, maintenance attendants, administration, recreation program attendants and aides, in addition to the openings for lifeguards and water instructors.

After receiving 695 applications from qualified candidates, only 80 percent of the openings are staffed for the season, said Kristen Watson, human resources coordinator. In previous years, she added, those same positions were typically 100 percent filled.

Fewer candidates applied for summer jobs at Dorchester County parks. They had 28 applicants and hired 15 qualified workers. That left positions open for part-time attendants and operations aides, said Michelle Mills, Dorchester County’s public information officer.

Paul Nunez, director of team development and culture at the South Carolina Aquarium, said, “the application process is in full swing” but added that “filling positions has been a bit challenging over the last couple of years.”

The lack of applicants for summer positions underscores a chronic, broader-based employment issue for the Palmetto State.

“While the overall job market in South Carolina is extremely strong, we have a relatively low labor force participation rate,” said Bryan Grady, DEW’s labor market information director.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 189,000 jobs adjusted for seasonality were open in South Carolina as of March. When seasonal jobs are added to the mix, it poses a challenge this year due to the much-needed demand for help in industries such as leisure and hospitality that were upended over the past two years by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hospitality sector includes a broad category of fields within the service industry, such as lodging, food services, event planning, theme parks, transportation, and other tourism-oriented products and services.

State numbers, adjusted for seasonality, showed an increase of 12,400 jobs added in all sectors from April to May. There were 4,000 jobs added in Leisure and Hospitality, 22,600 more positions than a year earlier.

Employers count on younger workers aged 14 to 21 to help fill positions open during the more active summer tourist season. But the number of most sought after workers aged 16 to 19, isn’t close to peak levels.

In April, Federal Reserve data show nationwide that 36.6 percent of 16-to-19-year-olds participated in the workforce. That was a big increase from the 34.7 percent average between 2010 and 2020 but nowhere near the 51.2 percent average between 1962 and 1980.

State figures are not available.

Researchers at Pew Research Center suggest multiple reasons for a reduction in teen labor force participation: fewer low-skill, entry-level jobs, more schools ending later in June or restarting before Labor Day, more students enrolled in high school or college over the summer, more teens doing volunteer community service, and more students taking unpaid internships, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t count as being employed.

Recreational programs are also a factor for potential workers from 14 to 18.

Noah Seguer, 15, of Summerville, said, “I’m too busy with baseball.”

At the end of the day, these types of labor shortages have a big effect on our city and our residents, Yarbrough said.

“These young workers are looking for a job where they can make the most money, a good competitive wage, and a great place to work.”

Yarbrough said the lack of training programs and higher wages in other industries struggling to build a seasonal workforce likely contributed to the lifeguard shortage.

“In our case, we have to train a new generation,” she said.

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