Silver Dollar City launches new student outreach program to employ, transport rural students to summer jobs at the park

BRANSON, Mo. – Silver Dollar City has launched a new program to strengthen its bond within the community by helping local school kids obtain temporary jobs over the summer.

Silver Dollar City Director of Human Resources John Zajac told The Heartlander that SDC piloted a program with the Green Forest, Arkansas school district last year to test it out. The program was originally set to be rolled out before the pandemic hit in 2020. 

This year the program has been extended to the Taneyville and Bradleyville, Missouri, school districts. Zajac said the program’s primary purpose is to give opportunities to kids who might not have proper transportation.

SDC Director of Public Relations Lisa Rau said these students come from a very rural area and would normally have to travel miles to find a job. Rau says the new student outreach program will give kids the opportunity to not only work in a fun environment, but to build camaraderie with other students on bus rides to and from work. 

Each school district will provide bus transportation to and from the park each day at no extra cost to student-employees – allowing them to remain in the safety of both their own school district and Silver Dollar City.

SDC plans to reimburse participating districts for both driver compensation and fuel charges. 

“Our intent is that the students aren’t paying for travel expenses and the school isn’t either,” Zajac said. “The funding the school district receives needs to be poured into the student population and scholastic experience. We hope that this program allows both the students and the communities in which they live to be enriched.”

“Bottom line,” Rau says, “these kinds of student outreach programs can change lives and help educate our youth, both on the job and scholastically, while equipping them for the future workforce in our country.”

“We expect this program to be very healthy this season and allow for many to get both a great personal and professional experience,”  Zajac added.

Silver Dollar City is even waiting on school board approval to add two school districts to this summer’s student outreach program.

The new student outreach program, along with “Herschend’s GROW U” — which helps SDC employees further their education free of debt – are two strong examples of the theme park investing in the community.

As Silver Dollar City’s community-centered reputation continues to grow, park visitors can expect another energetic and bustling summer at the park this year.

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