KIRKLAND, Wash. — “Now hiring” and “help wanted” signs are starting to fill the windows and street corners around the greater Seattle area as more business are rebounding from the pandemic.
One business that has seen a major boom is looking to staff up for a unique position.
“Now Hiring Zamboni Driver” signs can be seen around Kirkland, Renton and Snoqualmie as Sno-King ice arenas embrace hockey fever.
Sno-King is a nonprofit dedicated to youth hockey on the Eastside and has been a go-to for ice skating since the 1960s.
Jamie Huscroft, the facilities director for Sno-King, came to Seattle from Canada to play hockey for the Thunderbirds “back in the day” and said they’re hiring for the position people ask about the most.
“People come in here all the time and just want to drive the Zamboni ... so here’s your chance."
Jerry Shallow, the resident Zamboni driver in Renton, is entering his sixth season behind the wheel.
“You just need to know how to drive in a circle ... and turn right,” Shallow said.
He’s also the maintenance manager for Sno-King but said driving the Zamboni is always a topic of conversation.
“Every time I’m driving and kids are around they get excited and line up to do high fives,” Shallow said.
The Zamboni scrapes off the top layer of ice and replaces it with flood water that turns to a smooth top layer of ice.
“It’s more involved than mowing the lawn but pretty easy when you get the hang of it," Shallow said.
Wendy Rogers, the development and marketing director with Sno-King, said she grew up figure skating and now has three kids who play hockey with Sno-King. She said the Zamboni continues to be a star attraction at all three arena locations and they are eagerly looking to hire some new drivers.
“No experience required. Just need to be eighteen with a drivers license and being a hockey fan wouldn’t hurt,” she said.
All three locations are hiring. The $25-million-dollar complex in Snoqualmie opened during the pandemic with two new NHL-size rinks.