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Coliseum operators begin search for 1,300 workers

When it reopens in April 2017, the Nassau

When it reopens in April 2017, the Nassau Coliseum is likely to employ 1,300 full- and part-time employees, ranging from account executives to ushers and cooks. Credit: AllislandAerial.com / Kevin P. Coughlin

The new operators of the Nassau Coliseum have begun a search to hire 1,300 full- and part-time employees, ranging from account executives to ushers and cooks, to staff the arena when it reopens in April after 18 months of renovations.

The hiring process will give first consideration to local Uniondale residents.

“We are looking to hire the best in class for every open position,” said Matt Felker, general manager for the arena, which has been renamed the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum presented by New York Community Bank.

AEG Facilities of Los Angeles, which will manage operations at the Coliseum, will hire account executives, box office ticket sellers, ushers and attendants to clean staff uniforms. AEG also needs workers to lay down the hardwood at basketball games and the ice at hockey games, install and remove the hockey glass, and to set up portable seating risers.

Levy Restaurants of Chicago, which will oversee food services at the arena, will hire for a variety of jobs, including bartenders, servers, concession stand workers, cooks and dishwashers.

Salary ranges for positions were not disclosed, although officials say wages will exceed the minimum wage.

While some positions, such as box office manager and ticket sales account executive, will be full-time, the hours and wages for most titles will be subject to collective bargaining, officials said. All jobs are expected to be unionized.

Applicants can apply now with the state Department of Labor at the website labor.ny.gov/coliseumjobs. Department staff will screen applicants, based on factors including experience and education. All candidates will be subject to background checks and drug tests.

Then, applicants will be interviewed at job fairs in January and February, and those hired will receive training from executives at the Disney Institute — the professional development arm of the Walt Disney Co. — in March, Felker said.

Area civic groups last year pressed lead developer Bruce Ratner to spend $10 million to expand the Uniondale community center, demolish abandoned homes and make streetscape improvements.

Ratner, executive chairman of Forest City Ratner Cos., declined to fund the off-site projects but pledged to hire Uniondale residents at the arena and a planned retail and entertainment complex.

Margo Cargill, president of the Uniondale Chamber of Commerce, said she expects significant local interest in positions at the arena.

“We need to ensure that the host community can benefit from the redevelopment of the Hub,” she said, referring to the 77 acres around the arena.

The chamber is co-sponsoring a workshop on Dec. 3 at the Sherman Van Ness Fire Station in Uniondale to help residents apply for Coliseum jobs.

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano said his administration was working with Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, which is overseeing the Coliseum redevelopment, “to make certain every effort is taken to hire Nassau County residents.”

The Coliseum closed in August 2015 for a $130 million renovation that included downsizing capacity to 13,000 seats for hockey, and 14,500 for concerts. The arena will reopen April 5 with a Billy Joel concert.

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