Friday, March 6, 2009

Six Flags, More Flags, More Jobs

By Maria Monica Abrenica

Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey hosted a job opportunity fair last Saturday, February 21. Applicants came with a lot of patience and their biggest smiles.

Returning employees from previous seasons as well as hundreds of aspiring employees kept the company’s Human Resources Department occupied and the Employment Center packed throughout the day. The company is offering numerous employment opportunities for all ages.

The job fair started at ten o’ clock in the morning and lasted until four in the afternoon. It was a challenge squeezing between all the people in order to make it through the section of departments and their inviting display of work information. Among the most popular hiring departments are Merchandise, Games, Entertainment, Loss Prevention and Security, and Ride Operations.

Twenty-six-year-old Katherine Tytko of Howell, New Jersey is coming back for her seventh season with the Security Department. She said that what makes her keep coming back is the comfort and familiarity with the demands of the job. She also works as a Medical Technologist at the Monmouth Medical Center, but is looking to earn extra income. This season, she is determined to come back in order to double her payments toward student loans.

“The pay is not incredibly high, but you can get so many hours that you still bring home a decent paycheck,” Tytko said.

Rhonda Callahan, 21, of Mount Holly, New Jersey will be returning for her fourth season with the park’s Merchandise Department. She said she enjoys meeting new co-workers each year and being around park guests. She also said that the money she earns pays for college books and clothes.

“Six Flags is a happy place and the money is good too,” said Callahan.

Unlike most other companies, Six Flags provides employment for minors too. The amusement park accepts applicants as young as the age of fourteen. Senior Supervisor Mayra Zayas said that this is a great venue for young people to learn the value of hard-earned money and to develop responsibility. She estimates that about 2,000 people came to this job fair and while she was unable to give an exact number of how many people will get hired, she said that departments are aiming to maximize staffing. In an NBC local news report, it was said that Six Flags Great Adventure is among the biggest seasonal employers in New Jersey. The report said that approximately 4,100 positions are available.

“I live two minutes down the road and I need the money,” said fourteen-year-old Michelle Long.

Long was standing in a corner enjoying the free food and beverages at the fair while anticipating for her name to be called out by an interviewer. She is looking to work in Merchandise and said that she chose Six Flags because it is known for being a fun place to work.

Mothers waited patiently for their kids to finish their application and interview. Kayla Schonyers, 15, and Diandra Schonyers, 18, are sisters who were attracted to the fair by a promotional flier that their mother had brought home from work.

“I am not forcing them to work, but I want them to learn the value of money, especially during these hard days,” said the Schonyers’ mother.

Karen Coryelle, a mother of two from Bricktown, New Jersey, was waiting outside for her fifteen-year-old son to come out from his interview. When asked what job her son was looking for, she replied saying “Anything!” and then laughed. She said that being choosy is not an option at a time when so many people are getting laid off and having trouble finding decent jobs.

Seasonal employment does not discourage people from seeking a job at Six Flags and this is evident in the number of people who went to the job fair last Saturday. “Six Flags has so many jobs within the company that it can fit into anyone’s needs,” Zayas said. “There’s something for everyone.” She also said that the benefits of competitive pay, flexible hours, and free park tickets draw more and more people each year.

The park is still accepting applications and anyone is welcome to visit the Employment Center from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. A list of available seasonal positions and more information about employment are also available online at

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