Hundreds attend Six Flags job fair

February 7, 2009 5:31:03 PM PST
Jobs are still out there. It depends on where you look

Saturday hundreds in Fairfield looked to a company many would think, would only hire the youngest of applicants.

There was a steady flow of cars, lines of people, even cartoon characters. It looked like an average day at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom.

But, it was not.

People there were not looking for entertainment. They were all looking for a job.

700 people want seasonal work with the company, in just about every department and every level of experience.

The park has about 1600 job openings and in years past, the average age of applicants is 18. This year the age is much higher.

"I've been the manager of the Westin St. Francis as well as the Hilton Hotel in the room service, 2000-room properties," said Ron Allen who is unemployed.

It is the first time in 40 years that Allen is unemployed. He is hoping to get a job in Six Flag's restaurant services department.

"They only have one opportunity open, so one out of a hundred I say, " said Allen.

"Today I'm looking for anything that's open. I've worked in sales. I've worked in home care. Just trying to get whatever's out there," explains Dionn Jefferson, also unemployed.

He is like many others. Online applications are up 320 percent.

"You're seeing a lot of people who may not really mind doing something that they are not trained in," said Six Flags spokesperson Nancy Chan.

It is an attitude that is not surprising to USF economics professor Emeritus Michael Lehman, especially since California's unemployment rate is 9.3 percent.

"People have to take what they can get. What choice do they have? At the back of everybody's mind has to be, 'If I don't take this one and the situation gets worse, maybe I'm not going to get the next one,'" he said.

It is a situation, according to Lehman, that is only expected to get worse.