Efforts have begun in Baltimore to prepare the city's workforce for about 1,700 jobs that are expected to arrive with the late-summer opening of the Horseshoe Casino on Russell Street.

City Councilman Carl Stokes will host a jobs fair with Horseshoe officials on Feb. 5, at which interested applicants will be able to submit their applications and ask about job openings.

At the event, to be held in the Oliver Community Association building at 1400 East Federal St., officials will look for "job applicants in every category from accountants to customer service representatives," an event announcement said.

Stokes said the city is poised to see many jobs arrive in the next year, at Horseshoe, a planned Amazon distribution center and in and around Harbor East — opportunities driven in part by taxpayer subsidies.

It only makes sense to try to direct those jobs to Baltimore residents, he said.

"If we're going to encourage job creation, we should also encourage that many of those jobs should go to local residents who are otherwise unemployed, because we have a situation where men and women aren't able to provide for their children or themselves — which results in the decline of families and neighborhoods," Stokes said.

In addition to the job fair, a series of two-day "Horseshoe Legendary Academy" workshops began Thursday for Baltimore residents interested in securing a casino job, with information on "hiring requirements, the interview process [and] skill assessments," according to the Mayor's Office of Employment Development, which is organizing the seminars.

Those who receive a "certificate of completion" for having gone through a seminar will receive "special" consideration in the hiring process, officials have said.

The first seminar began Thursday at Bon Secours Community Works.

Additional seminars will be held Monday and Tuesday at the HARBEL Community Organization; on Feb. 6 and 7 at the Northwest Career Center; on Feb. 11 and 12 at the Westside Youth Career Center; and on Feb. 20 and 21 at the Northwest Career Center.

Those interested in attending can find more information at http://www.OEDworks.com, or by calling 410-396-9030. Find available Horseshoe jobs, and other available jobs in the city, at http://www.oedworks.com/jobseek/hotjobs.htm.

krector@baltsun.com

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