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About half of Horseshoe Casino job offers go to city residents

Horseshoe Casino Baltimore's general manager said Tuesday that joint efforts by his company and the city government to recruit local employees for the new gambling center near downtown have paid off, as Baltimore residents have received about half of the 2,200 job offers made so far.

It is not clear how many city residents would be hired for the facility's 1,700 to 1,900 full- and part-time jobs because the job offers were made pending background checks for criminal history and drug abuse, said Chad Barnhill. About 31,000 people applied for jobs.

The two-story casino with slot machines and table games on Russell Street south of M&T Bank Stadium — Maryland's fifth — is expected to open in late August, Barnhill said.

He called the hiring process a "very pleasant surprise" because so many applicants showed up with "their positive attitudes, dressed for success and ready to roll."

Horseshoe is continuing to look for workers for all positions, and will open a new dealer training academy soon after the current class completes the course at the end of July.

The city and Horseshoe worked closely together for months during the fall and spring to get the word out about the jobs being offered, to help job-seekers fill out their applications and to show up for several mass hiring events briefed on how to make the strongest impression.

Also Tuesday, casino developer MGM National Harbor announced that it had signed an agreement with Prince George's County to hire 40 percent of its employees from among county residents for the casino opening, which could come as early as July 2016, and to raise that number to 50 percent in the first five years. MGM has pledged that the casino and hotel would create about 4,000 permanent jobs.

The pact also sets employment goals for county residents and minorities for the construction of the $925 million project, which could begin as early as next month.

arthur.hirsch@baltsun.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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