By TRAVIS HANDY
Every year as spring draws closer, some local summer hotspots begin to hire seasonal help. Those seasonal workers serve a vital role in keeping summer attractions like Claytor Lake State Park running smoothly throughout their busiest season.
Brody Havens, a site safety officer and assistant manager at the state park, said seasonal jobs at the park are a great career builder for qualified individuals. Havens himself said he has worked for the state park since the summer of 2001, starting out as a seasonal employee.
He said the state park brings in a lot of high school and college-aged employees looking to make money and gain employment experience over the summer months. Jobs of this nature can be a stepping stone to a future career in the conservation field and are great for people looking to work in an outdoor setting or those with an interest in hospitality, environmental awareness or education.
“It’s a great place to work,” said Havens. “We’ve had several Game Wardens, several people that have received full-time employment in state parks. Folks that are interested in the natural setting (have) moved on to careers in the same type of field, so it’s a good starting point.”
The three-month jobs, from late May through late August, include housekeeping and maintenance, landscaping, minor plumbing, electrical and carpentry jobs, food service workers, lifeguards and people to fill positions at the contact station, answering questions checking in visitors and handling registration.
The park also brings in workers for 1500-hour positions, also seasonal, but spread out over a longer period than the three-month summer season, in housekeeping and maintenance and interpreter positions. Interpreters are hired for 1500-hour positions and conduct educational programs and activities for children, including trail hikes and other outdoor activities.
Havens said the park typically receives in the neighborhood of 300 applications for each summer, hiring 50-75 seasonal employees for the three-month period from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Claytor Lake State Park is accepting Virginia State Applications through March 1. Applications must be submitted to the park office by close of business that day. The park office is located at 6620 Ben Bolen Drive, Dublin.
Interested individuals may obtain an application and additional information by visiting www.virginiastateparks.gov and selecting “jobs,” or they may call the park for more information at 643-2500. Applications may be submitted in person at the park or may be mailed to the address listed above.
The state park is part of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, whose mission is to “conserve, protect, enhance and advocate wise use of the commonwealth’s unique natural, historical, recreational, scenic and cultural resources.”