Navy Pier hosts job fair for seasonal staff as Chicago attraction prepares to reopen

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A job fair is underway Monday at Chicago's Navy Pier. The popular attraction is hiring seasonal staff before the planned reopening later this spring.

The city's most recognizable tourist attraction is preparing to come out of its pandemic hibernation.

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"Navy Pier has been closed for quite some time and we're looking forward to reopening," said Navy Pier spokesperson Payal Patel. "We're as anxious as everybody to get this place reopened [and] welcome guests back safely."

To do that, Navy Pier's guest services department is adding to its team.

"We've had an overwhelming amount of interest in jobs at the pier, which comes as no surprise of course," Patel said. "Typically, we host this fair every single year and this year we sold out our tickets for reservations within 24 hours."

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"It was full," said Darius Anthony, who secured a job at the fair. "They said there were no more slots so I just took a whim and came down here."

That gamble paid off for the 27-year-old brand new dad who came to the job fair looking for a more permanent job.

"It just feels bigger than me right now, for real," Anthony said. "I want to make sure everything I do after this point, every decision I make after this, is thinking about this as positive. It's a good decision."

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Anthony will be one of about 100 new employees hired, at least for the season, for jobs like running the pier's famed Ferris wheel or monitoring social distancing when the lakefront site finally reopens.

"As our phased reopening continues, there might be opportunities for more employment in the future," Patel said.
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