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First-timers, second-wagers, young, old hit up job fair

Employment-seekers of all varieties turn up in droves for Six Flags Magic Mountain event at the park

Posted: February 20, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: February 20, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Angel Oliver, 19, middle, relates her three years of experience as a games hostess to Juanita Loza, 18, left, and Pat O’Brien, 16, at Six Flags Magic Mountain on Saturday. A job fair there drew thousands.

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More than 1,000 job-seekers — young, old, tall and small — showed at the Six Flags job fair Saturday hoping to find seasonal work at the amusement park this summer.

Some showed up younger than the legal working age of 16, others were retirement age.

All of them were hoping to land one of the 2,500 positions available at the both Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Most of them would go home happy, said Sue Carpenter, spokeswoman for Six Flags Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor.

“We’re going to be hiring over 2,000 people,” she said. “So we have something for everyone.

“We’ve seen a lot of second-wage earners,” she added. “Especially with the economy the last couple of years. We can hire minors because we work with their schools. So we encourage everyone to apply.”

The job fair at Six Flags continues today.

Fun jobs
Saturday morning was job application time — amusement park-style.

Job hopefuls arrived through an archway of multicolored helium balloons, against a background of pumping rap music and through the wafting gray smoke of burgers on the barbecue.

Behind them were the muted “ooohhhs” and “aaaahhhs” of riders on the roller coaster as it dipped in and out of the horizon.

Where else could they hope to receive a paycheck for dressing up in a Bugs Bunny costume? or get paid to sing a capella as wandering minstrels in groups modeled along the lines of the popular TV show “Glee”?

Different tents catered to different talents.

There were the healthy-looking young swimmers seated under the water park tent, clutching their job applications and waiting for their interviews.

Next door was the entertainment tent where applicants exhibiting “A Plus” energy levels were considered for character costumes (not mascots) which included characters featured on either Warner Brothers cartoons - Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Pepe Le Pew — or characters from DC Comics such as Batman and Robin.

The tent with the shortest line was the one for cash-counting positions — for people willing to count money each night after the park shuts down.

Tents for all the other park specialities, however, were packed with hopefuls.

Young and old
At 64-years-old, retiree Robert Mark is hoping to put his years in human resources to use at the park this summer.

“I filed online and showed up this morning with a thousand other people,” he said, adding that he’s already submitted his application for full time work.

“I am retired,” he said. “But your house goes down in market and your 401K goes down so I need some extra money to buy those hamburgers over there.”

A line of applicants — many in white shirts and ties — stood under gathering clouds, waiting to order a hamburger.
Garrett Pelosi and Robert Rye, both 18, were just standing around waiting to be called for their interview, each of them hoping for a spot on park security.

“I’ve been looking for a while,” Pelosi said about the job search in Santa Clarita Valley. “But, I’ve been really bent on doing this one.”

Chance for full-time
For some, landing a seasonal job is the first step in landing a full-time job.

“We’ve had people work here for 30-plus years,” Carpenter said. “These are our full-time people who started as seasonal.
“So, you can make a career out of it.”

Park President Bonnie Rabjohn began work at the park years ago as a seasonal food services worker.

“It’s the perfect job when you’re going to school,” she said. “It offers young kids, as well as adults, an opportunity to grow, because there’s such a variety of things to do.

“It’s like a little city.”

For Jodie Malone, this is the 15th year she’s applied for seasonal work, and the first year for her 15-year-old son Josh.

Doesn’t she ever want to go on a summer vacation?

“Vacations are a luxury, the economy being what it is today,” she said. “And, that’s why this place is such a blessing for our family.”

Her son, sporting a shirt and tie and hoping for an interview, is eager to get any job.

“If I had my pick, I’d love to be a ride operator,” he said. “Because you could have fun with the people riding the ride.”

Each of the tents swelled with people when it started to rain.

They waited patiently for their name to be called, each holding their rolled-up application.

 

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