Oaklawn Park holding job fair for upcoming racing season

HOT SPRINGS (KATV) -- The opening bell is about to ring on another racing season at Oaklawn Park Race Track in Hot Springs, and outside of all the horses, jockeys and fans, the season also means employees are needed.

Jobs come as good news for an area struggling with unemployment.

All is quiet around the race track area of Oaklawn time of the year, but when the season opens up on January 10, the normal look of hustle and bustle will take shape.

Additional foot traffic means the track and gaming areas will need extra workers.

"Between rehires and new hires, we're going to be filling about 800 positions, and those people are going to be employed through April," said Jennifer Hoyt with Oaklawn Media Relations.

"Even if you're unemployed it could give you something to do for the next few months."

Oaklawn's first job fair is set for Saturday December 7 from 9 am to 3 pm at Oaklawn's business administration office on Golf Links Road, for those interested in a job with food & beverage department.

Two more will follow next week during the same times, including those for maintenance and housekeeping staff on Friday, December 13, and for the mutuel department on Saturday, December 14.

These jobs include full and part-time positions in an area of Arkansas lingering above the national unemployment rate. Garland County's latest numbers show its unemployment rate at 7.5 percent, while nearby Hot Springs County is at 6.7 percent.

"We're going to fill where our needs are," Hoyt added. "For example, the food and beverage department, obviously during the race meet our Lagniappes Restaurant and our Pop's Lounge, they see more people. So they may have a need to more people in those areas."

Oaklawn is undergoing major expansion to its gaming area, and that could up the seasonal jobs once all is finished for the 2015 racing season.