WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Hundreds of Westchester teenagers and adults attended the Rye Playland job fair Saturday at the County Center, hoping to land a job at the popular amusement park.
Joanna Marchesani, director of Rye Playland, said she understood why the line to enter the event wrapped all the way around the building.
“There are not a lot of jobs out there and it’s a tough time for people in all categories,” she said. “We’ve had people come to the job fair that have degrees in engineering that don’t have jobs.”
The park was hiring mostly cashiers and ride operators throughout the event, which lasted from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Candidates walked into a waiting room and were then interviewed in another room by a Rye Playland employee. Some of the hopeful job-seekers made it past that stage, but others were denied.
Those who made the cut were brought into another room to fill out paperwork and get their fingerprints on file. Those who passed the background check, had no missing application documents and clean fingerprints will begin training in April at Rye Playland. Still, some could be put on a waiting list.
“We don’t hire everyone, nor have we ever,” said Marchesani. “We take the pick of the litter. We want the best candidates available and we’re taking some top-notch people. We take the best.” She added that she does “want to see everybody employed.”
As for what Marchesani was seeking in candidates, it came down to personality because of how much Rye Playland employees interact with people.
“It’s not about skills because you learn the skills after," she said. "So, we’re basically looking at the personalities here. Do they make eye contact? Are they forceful or are they calm? Do they know how to diffuse, because when you deal with people, every day is a little different.”
Danielle Hill, a Monroe College freshman, arrived at the event at 8:30 a.m. and made it to the stage where she filled out paperwork for a cashier's position, but she was nervous heading into the interview.
“I was pretty nervous I guess because I’ve only interviewed once before this, so you don’t really know what to expect,” she said. The 19-year-old Bronx native said that Rye Playland would be a great opportunity because “you learn a lot, a lot of people skills” and it seemed “like a good place.”
White Plains resident Rahmaque Nelson had a positive mindset going into the interview and was rewarded by filling out paperwork for a ride operator's position.
“I feel as if I can get the job because I feel confident in myself,” said Nelson. “I always feel confident.”
The 18-year-old is hoping to get the job, “try to go somewhere, and start a life,” he said.
Rye Playland opens May 12 and closes in early September.