JACKSON — Six Flags Great Adventure is giving its workers a raise as the park staffs up for the start of the 2021 season and hosts a virtual job fair on Saturday.

Many positions within the park will now pay $15 per hour, an increase of $4 per hour, while food and beverage operations, custodial services, security, shuttle drivers, and lifeguards will earn even more, according to Park President John Winkler. Leadership positions will also pay more.

New Jersey's minimum wage increased to $12 at the start of this year and will increase $1 per year until reaching $15 in 2024. A federal $15 minimum wage is included in the latest coronavirus relief bill, which has not yet been put up for a vote.

Park spokeswoman Kristin Fitzgerald told New Jersey 101.5 that the wage increase is not in response to hiring limitations on workers from overseas on J-1 visas due to the pandemic.

"International workers comprise a very small percentage of our workforce. We still employ international workers, however, our focus is on hiring domestic employees. The wage increase is a demonstration of our commitment to being the employer of choice for central New Jersey," Fitzgerald said.

The Trump administration in June suspended entry of "certain immigrants and nonimmigrants who present a risk to the U.S. labor market following the coronavirus outbreak."  The suspension will expire on March 31 unless action is taken by the Biden administration.

Fitzgerald said hiring is "on par" with 2020 but "thousands" of positions are yet to be filled.  Six Flags hosts a hiring fair online Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m  at sixflagsjobs.com. Interviews, hiring and training will all be done virtually.

Six Flags Great Adventure will open for the season on March 27 with reservations accepted online starting at noon on March 16. Reservations for Six Flags Wild Safari Drive-Thru Adventure's opening on March 20 can be made starting March 9 at noon. Hurricane Harbor opens for the season May 15 with reservations accepted starting May 4. All reservations can be made at sixflags.com/reserve.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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