Wild Water Adventure job fair

CLOVIS, Calif.

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The available jobs are seasonal positions but with unemployment at nearly 17 percent in Fresno County, park organizers say they expect thousands of applicants to show up at the job fair.

If you're looking for some fun under the sun this summer, Wild Water Adventure Park wants you. "Most of our positions are entry-level: lifeguards, food and beverage, maintenance department," said Bob Martin, the park general manager.

The park is looking to hire close to 400 people for seasonal work to handle the quarter-of-a-million visitors that come to the park each year. "Recently with the economy, you would think it would hurt a lot of businesses but we get a lot of people that can't afford to go to Disneyland or Magic Mountain anymore. So Wild Water becomes their destination," said Martin.

Organizers say they expect thousands of applicants to attend the job fair this weekend. At the last job fair, the park was overwhelmed with applicants because of the rough job market. This year, Fresno County's unemployment rate in January was at 16.9 percent. That's down from 18.3 percent a year ago. But people are still struggling to find work.

"Right now I'm basically looking for anything part-time, custodial, anything at all as long as it's a job where I'm getting a paycheck," said Manuel Hernandez. Hernandez has been without work since November of last year. He's looking at seasonal employment now to provide for his children. "It's kind of hard to tell them, 'well dad can't find a job, can't buy what you need,'" said Hernandez.

And this is the time seasonal work picks up. Officials say temporary employment is better than no work when it comes to landing a permanent position. "Any opportunity that they can get their hands on is something they can put on their resume. Even though it may be seasonal but at least it's something that hopefully will add a little more luster to their resume," said Steven Gutierrez, a labor market consultant with the Employment Development Department.

While officials at the park say they usually hire entry-level applicants, they won't turn anyone away who's willing to get their hands and feet wet. "You don't have to have experience to do anything. You just have to have a good attitude. If you have a good attitude and a good smile and you're very customer-service oriented, we can teach you what to do," said Martin.

People as young as 16 years of age can apply as long as they have a work permit through school. Organizers say they expect to hire applicants on the spot. The minimum-wage positions will start at the end of May.

The job fair itself will run Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm and Sunday from Noon to 4 pm at the Sierra Vista Mall in Clovis.

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Wild Water Adventure Park will be holding a Job Fair this weekend at Sierra Vista Mall inside, just east of Kohl's.

Saturday 3/24 from 11am-4pm
Sunday 3/25 from Noon-4pm.

The following positions will be filled for this summer's season:
- 150 Lifeguards
- 45 Food Services personnel
- 100 miscellaneous park positions along with a few office support positions

Most positions will be entry level at minimum wage.

Start dates begin after May 27, 2012.

Applications can be obtained on line at www.wildwater.net or at the event. Have them completed and ready to turn in at the Job Fair.

For more information contact Wild Water Adventure Park at 559-299-WILD (9453).

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