Horseshoe Baltimore's local hiring efforts go far beyond what other major companies have done in the city, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said this week.
"I don't know that it's ever happened at this level," she said of the casino's effort to hire Baltimore residents. "It's something we've been pushing for, and we're very pleased that Horseshoe understands how important it is to do a significant amount of outreach."
The company has committed to citywide outreach efforts to inform residents of job opportunities at the casino. The company is hosting recruitment sessions throughout Baltimore for its "Legendary Candidates Academy," which provides training to potential applicants over two days.
Chad Barnhill, Horseshoe Baltimore's senior vice president and general manager, said about 12,000 people have inquired online about jobs at the casino, which will be located on Russell Street near M&T Bank Stadium.
He said he and his workers will embark on a "14-district tour" of Baltimore to inform residents of the jobs available.
The casino has pledged to provide 1,700 jobs. Barnhill said this week that state efforts to raise Maryland's minimum wage would have no effect on the number of jobs created.
"We're committed to hiring 1,700 people," he said. "It's our commitment to the mayor and the city that we're going to do that."
Horseshoe Baltimore, a Caesars Entertainment subsidiary, has agreed to fund a temporary employee in the mayor's employment development office to lead hiring efforts in Baltimore, print informational materials targeting potential employees in the city, and report twice a year to city officials on hiring progress toward its workforce development plan.
Barnhill said the casino is on pace to open in either August or September. Rawlings-Blake said she impressed by the speed of construction at the facility.
"Y'all are on some kind of hyper speed," Rawlings-Blake said of the casino's progress. "I've never seen anything like it. You're waiting at the light and a new floor goes up."
She said the casino’s local-hiring efforts are exactly what she wants to see from other companies building facilities in Baltimore.
"We want to give our Baltimore City residents an edge," the mayor said. "I was in a meeting with Amazon earlier today talking about this exact same thing."
The casino company is opening a $442 million, 335,000 square-foot gambling complex near the stadiums downtown.
Plans for the Russell Street casino call for a 122,000 square-foot gaming floor with slot machines, table games and a "World Series of Poker" room.
The developers have agreed to pay the city at least $11 million in the first year of operation, which will be used to help fund the mayor's proposed property tax cut for homeowners. Rawlings-Blake plans to cut property taxes by a total of 22 percent — a reduction of 50 cents per $100 of assessed value — over 10 years.