ELYSBURG - Over the past week, Karen Scheuermann had handed out resumes to 38 potential employers. She had yet to be called back for a single interview.

Arriving at the Elysburg Fire Company at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, she waited outside for a half-hour before the annual Knoebels Amusement Resort job fair began. She applied for a clerical position and, just like that, had an interview scheduled next week for a campground office position.

"This is amazing. I've been out of work for about a year now, so this couldn't have come at a better time,' said Scheuermann, of Paxinos.

She was one of 921 people who entered the fire company hall Saturday for the 10th annual job fair. Some of those were parents accompanying their children and others not necessarily looking

for jobs, but it was a great turnout nonetheless, park officials said.

Pennsylvania's largest free admission amusement park hires 1,600 to 1,800 workers for 30 departments.

Ages 14 to 80

Getting to the job fair was a bit like getting to the park on a busy day as some applicants had to ride shuttle vehicles from an auxiliary parking lot at Elysburg Presbyterian Church.

Young and old walked the hall to meet with department heads for jobs in anything from food service to security and games to entertainment.

In the first hour alone, more than 600 people had walked through the doors.

"We have a work staff that ranges in age from 14 to 80," said human resource specialist John Jones. "From talking with our department heads, we saw a lot of quality applicants today," he said after the four-hour job fair. "Now we will begin the process of doing interviews and screenings and hiring our seasonal workers."

Running rides

Some of the more popular jobs are in the rides department. Ride operations manager Bill Scandle said he will hire about 500 workers for the upcoming season.

"You have some people that want to work seven days and some that are happy with three," he said. "The park is open for 11 hours a day every day during the summer, so we need people to keep those rides going."

With world-class roller coasters and rides such as the Flying Turns and StratosFear, both of which opened in 2013, Scandle said they will be looking for some more skilled workers.

"You certainly don't have to be a nuclear scientist, but you have to be a little adept with computers and be able to monitor the rides for safety reasons," he said. "If you are a safety-conscious person, and understand the concept of treating guests like you would want to be treated, you will do well here."

Jones said that out of those who will be hired, 800 to 1,200 will be returning employees.

"That number represents a trained workforce that we will be glad to have back working for Knoebels," he said.

Park benefits

The park is primarily seeking workers aged 16 and older, although there are a number of positions available for those aged 14 and 15. School-aged workers are required to have working papers when hired.

In addition to a regular paycheck, Knoebels offers special employee events like staff swims, a block party, Sundae Sunday and a corn roast.

School-aged employees are encouraged to apply for Knoebels' scholarship program to help further their educations. More than $70,000 in scholarships have been awarded since the program began.

Knoebels also participates in a park exchange that allows employees to visit Hersheypark, Dorney Park, Great Adventure and others free of charge. All employees receive Knoebels tickets and food coupons along with their paychecks.

Anyone who could not make Saturday's job fair can stop at the park's human resources office and fill out an application.