Fresno Grizzlies looking to hire hundreds

FRESNO, Calif.

Around 1,500 people are expected to go to bat and take a swing at more than 400 positions.

The first pitch for the Fresno Grizzlies 2012 season is months away but Chukchansi Park will be buzzing with people Saturday hoping to work the concession stands. "Pretty much everyone you see who makes this thing go during games, that's who we're hiring," said Chris Kutz with the Fresno Grizzlies organization.

The Grizzlies will be holding their annual job fair to fill more than 400 seasonal positions that include everything from ushers and bat boys to housekeeping and food service employees. The ballpark is looking to hire people with a great attitude. "We only have a few minutes with each person because it's so many people in a short-time window, so if they're outgoing, if they're fun, energetic, that's what's going to make you look good immediately," said Kutz.

Last year, 1,200 job seekers waited in line to submit their application. Officials expect around 1,500 people this time around because of the unstable job market. "Any type of job growth we can get - whether it be part-time in this case or of course the ultimate goal would be full-time - is a good thing here," said Steven Gutierrez with the Employment Development Department.

Fresno County's unemployment hasn't improved much in the past months. The unemployment rate jumped from 15.7 percent in November to 16.2 percent in December.

"Job fairs, online and in stores, wherever that has a sign that says now hiring or help wanted," said Joua Fang. Fang has been looking for work since 2008 and hasn't' had any luck landing a job. She's hoping that changes with this job fair. "Anything that's open as long as it's a paying job. It's the money that needs to be paid right now because it's the bills and everything that's going up," said Fang.

And while baseballs leave the ballpark, officials say the stadium is a great place to work and enjoy America's favorite pastime. "As an employee it's great, I mean you look out here, we have the baseball field. You have tons of exciting people around and the fans are great. Staffers hopefully help contribute to that family atmosphere that we try to put on every night.

The job fair will be Saturday from 10 a.m. until noon at Chukchansi Park. Organizers are asking people to come with completed applications. The Grizzlies season itself won't begin until April 13th.

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