PROSPECT HEIGHTS — After two years in business, the Barclays Center is looking to replenish its small army of part-time workers.
From now until June 13, the arena’s management team will be searching for applicants to fill 300 part-time positions in security and guest services.
“We’re talking about a pretty substantial amount of jobs. It’s our first heavy lift since we opened,” the arena’s community affairs manager, Terence Kelly, told the 77th Precinct Community Council this month. The pitch came as part of an outreach effort to residents of four community boards — 2, 3, 6 and 8 — who will be “prioritized” for the jobs, according to the center’s hiring website.
Of the 1,900 part-time workers hired at the arena in 2012, a third of them lived in the prioritized community board areas, which cover a wide swath of central Brooklyn, from Red Hook to Bedford-Stuyvesant, according to Forest City Ratner spokeswoman Ashley Cotton.
“We make an extra, extra effort to advertise these jobs to those populations to make sure they are the first in line,” Cotton said, adding that NYCHA residents will also be given priority.
Representatives from Boards 2 and 8 said the arena always informs them about job opportunities. Community boards 3 and 6 did not respond to inquiries.
Security and guest services workers at Barclays are represented by the union SEIU 32BJ, which negotiates wages with arena management, Cotton said.
But even with the outreach efforts and unionization, some in the community don’t think the jobs created at the Barclays Center are good enough. When then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg cited job creation at the arena as one of his administration’s top economic achievements last year, critics noted that most of the 2,000 jobs he praised were not full-time and did not include health benefits.
Forest City Ratner received $726 million in government benefits to build the Barclays Center, according to a 2009 report by Independent Budget Office.
Gib Veconi, a Prospect Heights resident and member of the Atlantic Yards watchdog coalition Brooklyn Speaks, said “jobs created at the publicly subsidized arena should pay a living wage for Brooklyn and include health benefits.”
Still, demand for the part-time jobs available at the Barclays Center has been fierce. Kelly and Cotton both said the arena received more than 30,000 applicants for the 1,900 available jobs in 2012. Cotton wouldn’t say how many people have already applied in this round of hiring, but noted she’s pleased with the response so far.
Those interested in applying must register on the Barclays job website and attend an in-person screening event in Downtown Brooklyn between now and June 13. Cotton said those selected for formal interviews will undergo a background check and drug test.
Those who get a position “can expect to start working late July or August,” she said.