Updated 04/02/2012 06:47 PM
Back to work for seasonal employees
Warm weather has people seeing green across the Mohawk Valley, especially those who depend on seasonal work for extra income. Some businesses are calling those employees back earlier than usual. Sarah Blazonis reports.
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VERONA, N.Y. -- Rich Dziura's face is a familiar one for regulars at the Shenendoah Golf Course.
"I'm the first person that you see as you drive up to the bag drop and if you've never been here, we give you the lay of the land," he said at the Shenendoah clubhouse Monday.
It was Dziura's first day back on the job this spring. He's worked seasonally as a golf services attendant at the Turning Stone Resort courses for five years, so the sight of raking, mowing and preparing the pro shop on opening day is nothing new.
What is different: That day normally doesn't come at the beginning of April.
"We're starting about three weeks earlier than normal. So that's an exciting time and we're excited to get started again with all of our seasonal help coming back," said Miles Blundell, Turning Stone's head golf professional.
Turning Stone officials say not only do their 200 seasonal employees play a big part in keeping their operations moving, but they're also a driving force in the local economy.
"There are so many high schools and colleges around and we pull from both of those," said Dana Sovocool, Vice President for Human Resources at the Oneida Indian Nation. "And our retirees come back year after year. They really enjoy working here."
Seasonal work plays a big part in the Mohawk Valley economy as a whole. The State Department of Labor says an average of 1,000 jobs are typically added in Oneida and Herkimer counties between March and April as a result of warm weather jobs.
Economists say there's no telling how many of those workers will get an early start this season, but those at Turning Stone say they're glad to be back.
"Just to be part of the team to promote and showcase these golf courses is great," said Dziura.
And of course, a few extra weeks of earnings doesn't hurt either.