Field Station: Dinosaurs gears up for initial hiring

Officials with the upcoming Field Station: Dinosaurs park in Derby will soon be hiring people to staff the park during the bulk of the season. On any given day, there likely will be about two dozen employees at the park, which is being built on a 13.8-acre parcel at the northwest corner of Rock Road and Patriot in a STAR bond tax district.

When the Field Station: Dinosaurs park opens Memorial Day weekend in Derby, there not only will be visitors from the city, there will be local employees, too. President and Chief Executive Producer Guy Gsell will be hiring dozens of people to staff the park during the bulk of the season.

He plans to have a job fair soon to undertake the hiring. Those plans are not quite ready, but the groundwork for the process is underway.

Gsell said he’s aiming for March to get interviews started. The hiring will take place in Derby and there will be some staff from the first dinosaur park in New Jersey here to help in the process.

Almost all of the hires will be seasonal and most part-time, making it fit into the schedules of high school and college students. There will likely be three full-time, year-around employees, he said.

On any given day, there likely will be about two dozen employees at the park, which is being built on a 13.8-acre parcel at the northwest corner of Rock Road and Patriot in a STAR bond tax district.

Based on Gsell’s experience, some employees would want to work only a few hours a week because of other activities.

“We have people working only 10 hours a week,” he said of the New Jersey operation, “so we need to hire a lot of people to fill the slots.”

Among the jobs are park guides, who interact with guests, and site employees, who work on the maintenance aspects of the facility.

In a description of the work, officials say the jobs are “fun because we don’t take ourselves too seriously but take what we do very seriously.”

They say they are looking for “passionate people who are committed to making a difference,” and that being a team player is crucial. Recruiters are looking for candidates with high energy, a positive attitude, are people-oriented and will work hard. Minimum pay is $10 an hour, he said.

Performers will be paid more. On any given day, there will be five performers on duty, he said.

Gsell plans to audition in the area and hire local talent.

The park will be open year-round but it will be slower in the winter, so it will have a smaller crew in place then.

“If you think how a zoo programs in the summer versus the winter, that’s pretty much how we operate,” he said. “No one wants a big, closed-down facility.”

The park also will be available during the off-season for special events, and employees will be on site to help out with those.

“We know there will be birthday parties year-round,” he said. “Just because it’s slow doesn’t mean some kid doesn’t have a birthday.”

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