Sen. Berthel, Quassy Co-Owner George Frantzis Look to Boost Workforce Readiness for CT’s Youth

February 24, 2023

Chief Deputy Republican Leader Eric Berthel (R-Watertown) yesterday joined Quassy Amusement & Waterpark co-owner George Frantzis to support a measure expanding workforce opportunities for young people during a public hearing of the legislature’s Labor and Public Employees Committee. The bill, S.B. 831, was introduced by Senator Berthel for the 2023 legislative session and would permit amusement parks like Quassy Middlebury to hire young people who are at least 14 years old to perform nonhazardous jobs, promoting entry into the state’s workforce.


Frantzis, whose amusement park relies largely on high school and college students to fill its seasonal staffing needs, went on to speak in support of the measure. His testimony highlighted the ongoing labor shortage in the state and how permitting 14- and 15-year-olds to enter the workforce is important to ensuring their workforce readiness as adults.


Presently, amusement parks are considered as ‘hazardous employment’ in Connecticut and young people under the age of 16 are prohibited from employment.


“Amusement parks like Quassy have so many job opportunities beyond operating a ride. Young people can start developing the ‘soft skills’ needed for a successful career at our local amusement parks. The industry has certainly evolved, and this is an opportunity to also empower young people with essential life skills like responsibility, reliability, and effective communication,” said Senator Berthel.


Frantzis said, “I have retail and clerical work available for young people. There are viable areas where they can work and learn important life skills. With labor shortages where they are today, it is a good time to revisit the ability to hire these young people. We consider ourselves at Quassy to be educators, teaching young adults critical things like responsibility, time management, and how to interact with people in today’s world. We have followed all of the regulations in the past, and have all the parameters in place to ensure a safe environment.”