Horseshoe Casino Baltimore are holding interviews at M&T Bank Stadium to fill 1,700 positions at the $442 million casino entertainment complex set to opening in late August or early September 2014. (Kevin Richardson/Baltimore Sun video)

When Horseshoe Casino Baltimore opens later this year, it will serve as more than just a proud new gateway to downtown Baltimore. The $442-million casino entertainment facility will create 1,700 new jobs downtown — infusing new tax revenue into the community and lowering property taxes for city residents.

As the city's largest new employer, Horseshoe Baltimore will offer access to the good-paying jobs and sustainable careers that are essential to achieving this administration's goal of attracting 10,000 new families to Baltimore. The casino's leadership team has committed to hire city residents and has launched an expansive campaign to raise awareness of casino job opportunities.

Working in conjunction with the Mayor's Office of Employment Development (MOED) and members of the Baltimore City Council, and leveraging traditional and non-traditional means, Horseshoe Baltimore has gone to great lengths to promote open positions. The casino is collaborating with the Baltimore City and Maryland chambers of commerce, as well as with local colleges and universities, philanthropic and religious organizations, the National Pan-Hellenic Council and the Enoch Pratt Free Library.

In an effort to give city residents a leg up in the hiring process, Horseshoe Baltimore and MOED are hosting a series of free Legendary Candidates Academies throughout the city. Participants who successfully complete the two-day training sessions will receive special consideration in the applicant review process.

Horseshoe Baltimore's first Table Games Service Academy, a free, 12-week program that will certify graduates to deal games ranging from poker and blackjack to craps and roulette, began on April 28. The in-depth, 240-hour program, hosted in conjunction with Baltimore City Community College, is a unique opportunity to achieve tuition-free dealer certification. As with the Legendary Candidates Academy, those who successfully complete the Table Games Service Academy will receive special hiring consideration.

The recruitment effort is producing exceptional results. To date, more than 16,000 individuals have requested job information through the casino's website (horseshoebaltimore.com). Nearly 2,000 people have successfully completed the Legendary Candidates Academy and more than 1,000 Baltimoreans have attended job information sessions held in city neighborhoods.

While the response to date has been impressive, robust recruitment and training initiatives remain underway. It is essential that Baltimore residents have every opportunity to identify jobs at Baltimore's casino for which they are qualified and receive training to take advantage of new career paths afforded by the Horseshoe's opening.

This week, Horseshoe Baltimore is hosting a large-scale hiring event at M&T Bank Stadium — Monday, May 5 through Wednesday, May 7 — to recruit additional candidates for non-table games positions. The casino's hiring team will be interviewing job seekers looking for positions in various fields, including food and beverage preparation, facilities management, slot machine maintenance, valet parking, transportation, banquet administration, finance, advertising and warehouse supervision.

Efforts to identify qualified Baltimore City residents will continue until shortly before Horseshoe Baltimore opens in late summer. Interested job seekers are also encouraged to use the services provided by Baltimore's three one-stop career centers, operated by MOED (oedworks.com), to learn more about the open positions, as well as how to successfully apply and interview for them.

In the wake of the worst economic slowdown since the Great Depression, the 1,700 jobs created at Horseshoe Baltimore represent an opportunity for individuals and families residing in Baltimore to improve their current financial standing and enhance their future earning potential. We urge those seeking new employment opportunities to take advantage of the free job training available through Horseshoe Baltimore and MOED to seize this chance to uncover new career possibilities.

Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is mayor of the City of Baltimore; her email is mayor@baltimorecity.gov; Twitter: @MayorSRB. Chad Barnhill is Horseshoe Baltimore's senior vice president and general manager. He can be reached on Twitter: @HorseshoeBmore.


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