Sunday, February 9, 2003

700 head to Kings Island for work



By Maggie Downs
The Cincinnati Enquirer

MASON - Danielle Walton, 17, of Indian Hill knew something was missing from her summer 2002 job.

Fun.

"It was me and a bunch of 65-year-old men," she said, scrunching her face into a scowl. "Blech!"

IF YOU GO
• What: Paramount's Kings Island will host three more job fairs.
• When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, March 1 and March 8.
• Where: 6300 Kings Island Drive, Mason.
• Miscellaneous: The park will also host a recruitment fair for teachers and other school employees from 4-7 p.m. Feb. 17.
• If you can't make it to any of the job fairs, stop by the human resources office at the park between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday to pick up an application. Anyone 15 or older is welcome.
• Information: (513) 754-5748 or visit www.pki.com.
That's why she wants a different kind of summer employment this year. The Indian Hill High School junior was one of about 700 attendees at a daylong job fair Saturday held by Paramount's Kings Island. The Midwest's largest theme park plans to hire more than 4,000 seasonal associates before the season begins April 12.

Departments hiring include admissions, cash control, entertainment, games, guest relations, merchandise, rides and security. Of course, there's also food and beverage, the section Walton worked for in 2001 - what she calls "the best job ever."

"It's like a big party you get paid for," she said. "You just don't want to eat fries for a few weeks."

Most of the people at Saturday's job fair were like Walton - high schoolers or college students looking for something to do in the summer.

"It's something that's fun, and it'll keep me out of trouble," said Cornelius Conyers, 15, of Bond Hill, who was hoping to clinch a job working with rides.

But the park isn't exclusively for young people. Tom Beck, 68, of Mason is the supervisor of tolls in the summer, a recruiter in the winter.

"I retired for four months, and I couldn't stand it. Then I came to work here, and I've been having a ball ever since," he said.

Positions pay up to $10 per hour. Additional benefits include unlimited use of the park, a scholarship program, parties and sporting events for associates, discounts at area businesses and a 40 percent discount on Paramount's Kings Island merchandise.

That could explain why the park sees a 60 percent return rate among seasonal employees.

Sometimes the summer jobs also lead to a career. Wayne Goodrich, 49, of Wyoming got his start in the rides department when he was in high school. He is now the operations manager for the security department at the park.

"There are a lot of opportunities here for people at every age," he said.

Besides the job fair, employees are recruited from a "core" group of area schools - districts like Mason, Lebanon, Loveland, Princeton and Lakota - and colleges.

E-mail mdowns@enquirer.com




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