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Carowinds to hire hundreds of workers for 2022 season

The 2022 season at Carowinds begins next month and the park is looking to hire hundreds of new employees at $15 an hour.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Carowinds is looking to hire hundreds of new employees for the 2022 season, and it's going to pay them a minimum of $15 per hour. 

Park officials said Carowinds will hold a hiring fair Monday, Feb. 21, as they look to fill around 900 openings, for a total of almost 2000 hires by June. Both in-person and virtual interviews will be available for applicants who register on the Carowinds website

“People want to get back out and have fun, so we’re seeing strong demand for our season pass sales," Dominic Macrone, Carowinds director of human resources, said. "We’re definitely accounting for that with the number of folks we have working here.” 

Macrone said raising the minimum pay from $10 to $15 an hour last year has helped retain workers.  

“So that’s really how we get the payoff, it reduces some of our recruiting costs because once we have them we can keep them," Macrone said. 

Macrone says the positions that can be hardest to fill are security guards and lifeguards. 

While January’s job report does bring some promising news -- Labor Department data show employers added 467,000 jobs last month -- hiring seasonal, summer workers still poses challenges. 

The YMCA of Greater Charlotte says its goal is to fill 350 lifeguard positions by June, and it struggled to hire last summer.

“Unfortunately, we are still in the same shortage, if maybe not even more of a difficult space," Ame Guy, aquatics director of the YMCA of Greater Charlotte, said.  

Guy said right now the YMCA of Greater Charlotte is paying lifeguards $10 per hour. It hopes to raise that pay soon, but Guy said it's not easy as a nonprofit. Instead, it's bringing other incentives to the table. 

“The benefits are fantastic because you get a free Y membership, you get a discount on your programs and the opportunity for growth," Guy said. "We're always looking for others to be developed.”

Guy said she continues to plan in case the positions are not filled by June. During the pandemic, the aquatics center started working under a system where you had to reserve a slot. 

Guy said if positions aren’t filled, the YMCA of Greater Charlotte will have to continue operating under that same system this summer. 

“It's a one-to-25 ratio for our lifeguards, so a lifeguard can lifeguard 25 people and that's the max," Guy said. "If we only have one lifeguard or two lifeguards, we can't let more than 'X' number of people into the pool to swim.”

The YMCA of Greater Charlotte does pay a $250 lifeguard certification fee. 

You can apply for positions at the YMCA of Greater Charlotte on its website.

Carowinds is hosting in-person interviews from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. Monday. You can also apply online.

WCNC Charlotte is always asking "where's the money?" If you need help, reach out to the Defenders team by emailing money@wcnc.com.

The park is looking to hire workers for the following areas:

  • Ride operators
  • Merchandise and games
  • Park Services
  • Food and beverage 
  • Admissions
  • Safety and Security
  • Entertainment and more

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Carowinds employees will enjoy free admission to the park, as well as other Cedar Fair properties, discounts on food and retail items and a flexible work schedule. 

For the latest breaking news, weather and traffic alerts, download the WCNC Charlotte mobile app. Contact Indira Eskieva at ieskieva@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. 

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