The man running Coney Island’s newest amusement park has some advice for all those hoping to land a job at the People’s Playground this summer: smile. No, really smile.
“We are selling a service, a moment,” said Central Amusement International CEO and President Valerio Ferrari. “We need someone who can really transmit that environment to our guests.”
The first of three Luna Park job screening events took place at MCU Park on Surf Avenue this week, giving job hunters a chance to impress local stakeholder groups who will refer qualified applicants for interviews in May.
Two other events are slated for April 17 at the New York Aquarium from 10 am to 2 pm and the Carey Gardens Community Center on April 22 from 2 pm to 8 pm.
“This is a good opportunity for young people like me to come out and get a job,” said Coney Island resident Austin Redd, 18. “I think it’s going to work out for me.”
CAI has about 230 full-time job openings to fill between now and May 29 when Luna Park is set to open.
Positions ranging from ticket takers to groundskeepers pay between $8 an hour to $12 per hour. Other management positions pay more.
Ferrari hopes to be able to fill all of those positions with local residents.
“That’s our goal,” he said.
Islander Sarina Cole, who’s out of work, said she she is hoping to get a retail posirion this summer at Luna Park.
“I think I have a good chance of getting a job,” she said.
By lunchtime, organizers of this week’s event said that about 100 other applicants had shown up with similar hopes.
“I think that there’s a presumption sometimes in at-risk communities that people don’t want to work,” said David Anderson, executive director of the Keystone Project, which is helping to recruit potential employees. “Nothing could be further from the truth. People want to work.”
All applicants must have basic reading and writing skills, but there are no educational requirements for a job at Luna Park. Applicants cannot have a conviction for a violent offense.
Or a sour puss, of course.