ELYSBURG, Pa. — With dozens of rides, games, and food stands, it takes a lot of people to run Knoebels Amusement Resort. Typically, the park in Elysburg has around 2,300 full-time and seasonal employees. But this year is different.
"We have about 1,500 employees that have come back and worked with us. We're looking to bring on around 300 more as we progress through the summer," said Jonathan Anderson, the human resources manager at Knoebels.
Anderson says that to give guests the proper Knoebels experience, he needs to hire around 300 more employees.
"We're trying to fill a shift seven days a week, so it really does take that amount of people to get the job done," Anderson said.
For example, Flying Turns takes seven people to operate. The ride is ready to run, but Knoebels hasn't operated it because of a lack of employees.
It's not just Knoebels. Many other businesses in our area are hiring, but employers are finding people hesitant to return to work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We do our best with safely distancing and sanitizing. We really do the most I feel when it comes to precautions," Kaitlyn McNamara said.
McNamara is starting her fifth season as a ride operator at Knoebels.
"I usually come in for a little bit of preseason, and then I'm here until August when I go back to college," McNamara said.
"I think it gives you a little bit of a life experience getting to work with other people, getting to be with the public, and interact with people," Nick Riccio said.