In past summers, Glens Falls resident Brittanie Potter, 21, said she would go to the Great Escape in Lake George all the time for fun. But on Saturday she was one of about a thousand people attending a job fair at the theme park.
Potter, who found out about the job fair from her aunt, said she is hoping to work in food service so she can support her two kids, ages 3 and 1.
Saturday’s job fair began around 8:30 in the morning and is part of the park’s effort to fill 1,500 seasonal positions. Rebecca Close, a communications manager for park operator Six Flags, said that the hiring extends throughout the spring. She added that they expected about half of their staff from last year to return before opening day on May 21. She noted that they have received over 1,000 online applications so far.
“We have everything available from lifeguards to ride operators to security,” said Close. She added that in recent years they’ve seen more qualified applicants as the result of a difficult job market. Close said there is no typical job seeker there, as they receive inquiries from students, people looking for a second job and people just looking for work.
The process for people seeking to become a “team member” at the Great Escape involved an online application, which was followed by pre-screening interview and then a group interview with about a dozen other job hunters. In the group setting people were asked to role play certain scenarios and work together to construct a tower with wooden blocks.
In one group, Kearstinne Wilbur, 19, of Glens Falls, took the lead on building and even stood on her chair to add the final blocks. She said it was normal for her to be a hands-on leader and hoped that this effort would be well received by the employers overseeing their team exercise. Wilbur applied for a job with janitorial services.
After Denise White, of Hartford, and Alex Jackson, of Glens Falls, finished their pre-screening interview, about two hours after they arrived, the pair struck up a conversation while waiting for their next task.
White was hoping for a job in the warehouse or food services and said she had applied for a job at the park because a friend was also applying there. She dated herself when she added that this was her first time back in the park since it had been called Story Town, about 30 years ago.
White jokingly added that her chances were helped by the strict dress code in the screening, which required professional dress. “It would have been more competitive if they allowed jeans, but they turned a lot of people away today,” she said.
Jackson, who is a junior at Glens Falls High School and is looking for a summer job, explained that he had applied for to the Great Escape because his family really loves it there. He is hoping to be costume character, but highlighted the downside of the warm suit. “They were saying that if its 90 degrees out, it is going to feel like its 110 in the suit,” Jackson said.
GAZETTE COVERAGEEnsure access to everything we do, today and every day, check out our subscribe page at DailyGazette.com/Subscribe
More from The Daily Gazette: