Aspen Skiing Co. gears up for winter season with job fair at Buttermilk’s Bumps Restaurant | AspenTimes.com

Aspen Skiing Co. gears up for winter season with job fair at Buttermilk’s Bumps Restaurant

Andre Salvail
The Aspen Times

It's that time of year again, when Aspen Skiing Co. readies for the winter season with a massive hiring push.

On Thursday at Buttermilk's Bumps Restaurant off Highway 82, the company will hold its biggest job fair of the year from 2-6 p.m. Hundreds of seasonal positions must be filled in the areas of hospitality (Little Nell and Limelight hotels), on-mountain food and beverage, lift operations, retail and the Ski and Snowboard School, the company said.

For a full listing of available jobs and to apply online, http://www.aspensnowmass.com/jobs. All candidates are asked to fill out an online application and follow up with a call to 970-920-0966.

"We're expecting a good turnout and between 300 and 400 people on Thursday," said Melanie Hmielowski, director of human resources in Skico's mountain operations division.

She said that when the company is fully staffed during the winter and spring ski seasons, it employs about 3,600 workers; 2,700 are in the mountain operations division, and 800 to 900 fall within the confines of hospitality and food and beverage.

Hmielowski said that in addition to around 1,500 seasonal workers who return annually, the company typically brings on about 1,000 new employees every year to work in a general time frame from mid-December through early April. She said most of the available jobs — as of Tuesday, there were 200 positions listed on the website — lie within the hospitality and food-and-beverage arenas.

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"The ski school is pretty well staffed," she said.

Skico places emphasis on hiring U.S. workers. Years ago, it found many employees through the federal H2B-visa program, which permits employers to hire foreign workers temporarily for nonagricultural services or labor on a one-time, seasonal, peak-load or intermittent basis. During the recent economic crisis, the company drastically reduced its reliance on that practice.

With the federal shutdown of nonessential workers, the Department of Homeland Security isn't likely to be processing workers for the program anyway, Hmielowski surmised.

"The job fair presents tons of great opportunities with great benefits for people throughout the valley," said Samantha Hoffman, Skico human resources manager.

Benefits for seasonal workers, according to Skico, include:

• A full ski pass.

• Food and beverage discounts.

• Access to other Colorado ski resorts through a company reciprocation agreement.

New seasonal employees are not immediately eligible for the company's health care program. Skico recently implemented a two-year waiting period for access to its health plan.

The company also has a random pre-employment drug-testing program, which includes screening for marijuana use. Once hired, employees are not subjected to random drug tests, but workers involved in accidents are required to submit a sample to help the company determine whether drugs or alcohol was a factor, Hmielowski added.

Bumps will host another Skico job fair on Nov. 14.

asalvail@aspentimes.com

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