QUEENSBURY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Between a general workforce shortage and a potential shortfall in J-1 student visa workers, seasonal businesses like Six Flags Great Escape are doing what they must to amass enough employees to get through a busy season. This year, the park is teaming up with SUNY Adirondack to get new faces behind the rides, games and events at The Great Escape.

The new “Work, Learn and Play” program offers SUNY Adirondack the chance to stay on campus at the college’s residence hall for the summer, enroll in some summer classes and work at the Six Flags park, all as part of a single package. Participating students can earn up to $16.25 per hour at the park. Commuter summer students are also eligible.

“We are so excited to offer this wonderful opportunity to our students in collaboration with Six Flags Great Escape,” said Kathryn O’Sick, dean for Student Affairs at SUNY Adirondack. “This is a great opportunity to earn money while continuing to earn credit this summer, all while having fun.”

For students who do choose to stay on-campus, the cost of living at the SUNY Adirondack residence hall is reduced from a fall or spring semester. The cost comes in at $1,795 for 12 weeks, coming down to about $150 per week, or $600 per month. Students who take more than one 3-credit course while working at the park will get a 5% housing discount for each additional course they take.

The list of courses offered through the school’s summer program includes a variety of general education requirements, both in-person and online. The summer season is segmented into two sessions: May 23 – July 1, and July 11 – Aug. 19.

Some students who live on-campus at SUNY Adirondack do so due to a lack of means of transportation off-campus. For those in such a situation, The Great Escape will provide a shuttle that moves between the campus and the park. The park employs more than 1,500 people every summer, including ride operators, lifeguards, admissions and food service staff and more.

“We are thrilled to build this exciting new program with SUNY Adirondack,” said Rebecca Wood, resort president. “This partnership showcases the beauty of our community as we work together to grow the next generation of tourism leaders, all while committing our region as the premier location to live, work, learn and play.” 

Students living on-campus will have access to SUNY Adirondack’s dining hall, which will remain open throughout most of the summer, save for a period of construction. Students will receive meals while working at the park.

This summer will be SUNY Adirondack’s first employment collaboration with a summer business. Seasonal work is always available in the Lake George/Queensbury region, and the college isn’t opposed to the idea of creating similar opportunities working with other businesses in the future.

“We strive to meet the needs of our students, community and regional businesses, said Rhonda Triller, SUNY Adirondack Director of Marketing and Communications. “We welcome any opportunity to collaborate for the good of the community, so this could certainly be just the beginning of such partnerships.”