Water park hires more than 200 people for operations
The soon-to-open Soaring Eagle Waterpark and Hotel has hired more than two hundred people for various positions.
Jennifer Turner, CEO of Migizi Economic Development Company, which is in charge of all non-gaming operations for the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, said they have mainly looked to hire members of the Tribe.
“We’ve primarily hired members of the Tribe,” Turner said. “The goal of Migizi is to create jobs for the tribal members and to promote economic development for the entire Tribe.”
That’s not to say Central Michigan University students or others haven’t been hired, though.
“We’ve hired a lot of students for jobs such as lifeguarding,” Turner said. “We’re very grateful that so many students have expressed an interest in working for the water park. We’re able to return the favor by being as flexible as we possibly can be with their schedules.”
The hiring process for the water park is extensive, Turner said.
“All employees have to go through the same process,” Turner said. “There are interviews, drug testing and all the other things you might expect. We also conduct a thorough background check on everybody since we’re dealing with a lot of young children.”
Turner said the extensive checks in the hiring process are done for the safety of the guests.
“It’s a very rigorous process because we want to make sure everyone is safe, and that we’re hiring only the best of the best,” Turner said. “We’re excited for our employees heading forward.”
Tribal spokesman Frank Cloutier said all phases of the project, from construction to hiring, has been done to showcase central Michigan as a vacation destination.
“We want to show that mid-Michigan is a real destination place,” Cloutier said. “This is just the next logical step.”
One of the most notable hires was the hiring of a former aquatics manager from Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio. Kalahari boasts the largest indoor water park in the United States and is known throughout the country as a premier vacation destination for families.
The Tribe employs more than 3,000 people in Isabella County, making them the largest employer in the county.
According to the most recent data from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget, that means the Tribe is responsible for employing more than 10 percent of the county’s workers.
The county’s unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the state, at 6.7 percent, just about 2 percent lower than the current statewide average.
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