Become a Whitaker Center Volunteer
Discoveries are made every day at Whitaker Center. We rely on the enthusiasm, talent, intellect and creativity of volunteers to maintain and expand our exceptional programs. If you are interested in discovering what you can do, we invite you to join us as a volunteer. Whether answering questions about an exhibit, greeting school groups, helping guests to their seats in one of our theaters, or answering phones in the administrative office, volunteers are involved!
The Volunteer Program at Whitaker Center includes diverse people of all ages, abilities, educational levels and employment backgrounds. The Volunteer Coordinator will help you to select a role that matches your interests and abilities to organizational needs. A contribution of your time and talent is one of the most generous gifts you can make.
We are currently accepting applications from volunteers (age 16 and up) to fill a variety of roles. If you are interested, please contact the Volunteer and Membership Manager by calling 717-724-3857
Volunteers share skills, learn new ones, meet new people, and have the power to make a difference and inspire others. Join us today!
As a thank you to our volunteers, we offer excellent benefits!
- Orientation and training
- The opportunity to hone existing skills or learn new ones
- Membership privileges, such as complimentary admission to Harsco Science Center and film screenings in Select Medical Digital Cinema(based on hours contributed)
- Comp Tickets for live theater performances (based upon availability for Whitaker Center Presents shows)
- Flexible hours
- Recognition awards
- Free parking downtown
It’s easy to get involved at Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts. Applying is easy as 1-2-3.
1) Click here to download a .pdf of the Volunteer Application and Disclosure Statement and Authorization and Release Form for the Pennsylvania State Police Clearance.
2) Click here to download a .pdf of the Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance and Consent/Release of Information Authorization Form to be obtained through the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services.
3) Click here to download a .pdf of the Volunteer Declaration which states that you been a resident of Pennsylvania for the past ten (10) years. If you have not been a resident for the past ten (10) years, please note this on your application. The volunteer program will provide you instructions on how to register and submit a full set of fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
* Recently signed into law was Act 153 of 2014, which requires comprehensive criminal and child abuse background checks of volunteers working with children. This law defines “direct contact with children” as “The care, supervision, guidance or control of children or routine interaction with children.” This law now requires Whitaker Center to obtain the following background checks on current and prospective volunteers:
1. A Pennsylvania State Police Clearance.
2. A Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance obtained through the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services.
3. A Federal Bureau of Investigation Criminal History Record Information obtained by submitting a full set of fingerprints to the Pennsylvania State Police or its authorized agent for submission to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
* Certain volunteers (those living in Pennsylvania consistently for ten years) can be exempted from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Criminal History Record Information check.
Please complete the volunteer application and required clearances and mail to:
Volunteer and Membership Manager
Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts
225 Market Street, 2nd Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17101
The Volunteer & Membership Manager will be contact with you to review your materials and shedule an orientation.
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Information Desk Volunteer– Information desk volunteers provide exceptional customer service by greeting patrons and answering questions about Whitaker Center and the surrounding community. Volunteers staffed at the Information Desk also monitor the Science Center entrance to include taking tickets and stamping hands.
Schedule: Tuesday through Saturday: 9:30am – 1:30pm; or 1pm – 5pm
Sunday: 11:30am – 2:30pm; or 2pm – 5pm
Floating Host- If you are a jack of all trades, then this position is for you! The Floating Host is cross-trained to be of assistance at the Information Desk, in Wonders at Whitaker Center, our Digital Cinema, or Performance Theater. See descriptions of these specific positions for further details!
Guest Service Support- Work with the young and those young at heart by interacting with visitors in the Science Center. Help guests manipulate and get the most out of 200+ interactive exhibits, and/or be a greeter for school groups and orient them to the Science Center. Volunteers in this position may also get the chance to assist in classrooms for our workshops and presentations. Excellent customer service skills a must! No science experience required – training provided!
Schedule: Tuesday through Saturday – 9am – 1:30pm; or 1pm – 5pm, flexible schedule.
Sunday: 11:30 – 2:30pm; or 2pm – 5pm, flexible schedue
KidsPlace Guest Service Support – By helping our little guests navigate our brand new facility, you will enable them to have an excellent educational experience! No science experience required – training provided! Must enjoy working with young children.
Schedule: Tuesday through Saturday:9:30am – 1:30pm; or 1pm – 5pm, flexible schedule
Sunday: 11:30am – 2:30pm or 2pm – 5pm, flexible schedule
Wonders at Whitaker Center
Assistant – Provide excellent guest service and assistance to Wonders at Whitaker Center staff by “bagging” patron purchases at the registers, re-stocking shelves, and assisting guests. This position can also be a great learning experience for those with the desire to learn the general workings and procedures of a store including managing inventory, checking in shipments and buying for the store.
Schedule: Flexible during operation hours
Usher – Provide excellent customer service by assisting visitors into our Digital Cinema, and collecting tickets while acquiring the opportunity to view the many large format movies shown while on your shift as an usher.
Schedule: Subject to movie schedule
Ushers – This position is for individuals interested in delivering exceptional guest service by helping patrons locate their seats and other amenities prior to and during performing arts events in the Performance Theater. Great for those interested in helping out while also getting the opportunity of viewing the multitude of events and shows that come to our Performance Theater!
Schedule: Subject to show schedule
If you have specific administrative skills, are looking for a volunteer position apart from guest services (membership office, education office and finance office) or would like a more flexible schedule one of our many administrative volunteer positions is for you!
Reception Desk – This position provides excellent customer service through the Center’s main switchboard and greets guests arriving at the Business Office for Whitaker Center. The office is located at 225 Market Street.
Schedule: Tuesday through Friday: 9am – 1pm; or 1pm – 5pm
Membership Office – Volunteers working in the Membership Office assist with record keeping, mailing and filing.
Schedule: Monday through Friday, flexible daytime hours
Education Office – Volunteers working in the Education Office assist with database entry and mailing projects.
Schedule: Tuesday through Friday, flexible daytime hours
School Reservations Office – Support the School Reservations office by delivering exceptional service to “telephone customers” in regards to Whitaker center questions and potential field trip requests.
Schedule: Tuesday through Friday, flexible daytime hours
Finance Office – Support the finance office by doing general clerical tasks such as data entry and filing. Training is provided. This position is great for those who cannot commit a great amount of time, as they would only need to come in about once a month!
Schedule: Flexible during operation hours
Bill Gallagher, Volunteer since 04’
"As a retired teacher and administrator, I enjoy volunteering at Whitaker Center for several reasons. It allows me to continue doing what I did in my career: helping people learn and discover, whether they are children or adults. I also appreciate being able to make everyone's trip to the Center go a little smoother so they can see it as I do - as one of the greatest resources that this area has. Finally, in my five years of volunteering I have enjoyed meeting and getting to know other volunteers. It never ceases to amaze me just what a talented, interesting group of people they are with an amazing array of backgrounds and experiences."
Grace House, Volunteer since 03’
“I volunteer at Whitaker Center for several reasons, one of which is that it gives me a feeling of giving to the community. Whitaker Center is a necessary institution in Harrisburg and it could not operate without volunteers to help defray the costs of running such a facility. There are not enough funding sources to support it without recruiting volunteers. Volunteering is a self-satisfying experience with rewards for the volunteer – having a paid membership by volunteering for as little as 8 hours a month, (after a brief qualification period), the opportunity to see many shows in the Performance Theater, large format movies and the exhibits in the Science Center. It also gives me an opportunity to spend some time with friendly, interesting people.”
Marie Stoddard, Volunteer since 04’
“Volunteering for performances at Whitaker Center has been immensely rewarding to me. At first, I was looking for a way to add people and fun activities into my life. I was a single mother whose only son was leaving for college and leaving me with a huge hole in my social life and leisure activities. After five years of volunteering at Whitaker Center, I happily consider many of the other volunteers and Whitaker employees as my friends -- not to mention the fabulous performances and events that I have been privileged to attend! I often leave a performance thinking. . .'Lucky Me!'”
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Is there a time commitment involved in becoming a volunteer at Whitaker Center?
We ask that volunteers commit to at least 8 hours a month, two four hours shifts of time.
What if I start to volunteer and I don’t like what I’m doing?
While we encourage volunteers to commit to at least 36 hours at a given position, we are flexible and will do our best to meet your needs.
How are volunteers trained?
All volunteers must attend a basic orientation, either with a group or individually with the Volunteer and Membership Manager. You will also receive training designed for your specific assignment and the general practices and procedures of Whitaker Center. This training is conducted before the volunteer begins their assignment (some on the job training may also be required).
Are volunteers provided with a uniform?
Volunteers are provided with a short sleeved or long sleeved Whitaker Center polo shirt. We do not provide pants to volunteers, but they are asked to wear tan colored khaki pants. Volunteers in our administrative offices are asked to wear business casual attire.
Is parking provided?
Whitaker Center provides parking to all volunteers at Walnut Street parking garage.