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New casino goes after city job seekers

Executives at Horseshoe Casino want Baltimoreans on their payroll.

The Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, which is expected to open in the third quarter of this year, will bring 1,700 new jobs to the area. Along with the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development, the casino has launched a recruitment program that includes two-day, six-hour training sessions available at various locations in the city.

Horseshoe Casino

Construction workers continue to enclose the exterior walls of the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. (The Daily Record/Maximilian Franz)

“It’s imperative that we have proud Baltimore residents that represent our casino,” said Chad Barnhill, senior vice president and general manager of the casino, at a press conference Tuesday.

“We will obviously have an announcement that goes out in a more broad aspect as well to make sure that we get the regional opportunity as well, but our goal is to make sure and provide as many jobs as possible in Baltimore city,” he said in an interview following the press conference.

Horseshoe Baltimore will visit each of the city’s 14 districts to reach out to residents about the jobs available at the casino, the company said.

The Legacy Candidates Academy training sessions have already begun, but the full rollout will take place in February and the program will continue through the spring. Participation will earn applicants a special look during the hiring process, said Kanika Feaster, recruitment coordinator for Horseshoe, who is working under MOED. It instructs residents about the positions available, and the pre-employment and interview processes.

“I don’t think that you will find a broader outreach,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

More than 12,000 people have already inquired about employment opportunities at Horseshoe by submitting their email addresses for updates, said Barnhill.

“It’s a great position for us to be in to be able to go out and select the best,” said Barnhill. During hiring, he said, Horseshoe will place an emphasis on candidates’ “great attitude, a friendly smile and a commitment to customer service.”

Barnhill emphasized that a majority of the 1,700 jobs at Horseshoe will require no prior experience, but will provide opportunities for advancement within the casino and throughout its parent company, Caesars Entertainment.

“It’s been so long since we’ve had 1,700 jobs available,” said Karen Sitnick, director of MOED.

“Just from the general economy, we are beginning to feel an increase in hiring,” said Sitnick. “Between having the casino opening up and … Amazon’s coming with another 1,000 jobs, it’s unprecedented for us to have that many employment opportunities in one period of time.”

Rawlings-Blake also noted the impact of the economic recession on Baltimore residents “who have been left behind in recovery,” and pointed to opportunities like Horseshoe as a way for them to re-enter the workforce.