It’s no secret that the Queens residents desperately need jobs.

With 8.3 percent of the borough’s labor force out of work, Queens is clearly struggling. Unemployment rates are nearly double what they were 10 years ago. Residents are losing hope.

But in Ozone Park – a neighborhood where unemployment figures stands at an even higher rate of 9.3 percent – jobs are on the way.

With the construction of the Resorts World New York casino at the historic Aqueduct Racetrack, Queens will soon get those jobs it so desperately wants, needs and deserves – more than 2,200 jobs, which will go a long way in helping revitalize the communities of not only South Ozone Park, but the entire borough.

We’re hopeful that this project will be so big, as to get Queens back on the right track.

Just seven weeks after being awarded the contract to build Resorts World New York at Aqueduct, we have already begun to ramp up our hiring for the project’s more than 1,300 construction jobs – meeting with more than 400 MWBE contractors just last Friday — and will soon announce job fairs for the more than 800 permanent positions that will be created.

The jobs at Resorts World New York will be high-quality jobs that are stable and largely draw from the local population.

The construction phase of this project will require hundreds of carpenters, laborers, plumbers and electricians as well as hundreds of other specialists in other positions. Resort World New York will also require a diverse staff of professionals in the entertainment, hospitality, security, technology and foodservice industries.

Hiring locally and responsibly is our first priority.

Our commitment to working with the community and contracting goods and services from local businesses is unwavering. This project is about putting Queens residents back to work and that’s why we will support local certified Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises and provide them with a simple and transparent process where the community will be promptly notified about all procurement needs.

The economic impact on the community will be immediately apparent, as Resorts World is certain to attract a wide array of visitors, who will bring life to local businesses and create new fiscal opportunities for neighborhood residents. Aside from the 2,200 jobs that Resorts World New York will directly create, there will be countless spillover jobs that the project will generate in hospitality, transportation, restaurant and retail industries in the South Ozone Park community.

And the benefits of Resorts World New York go far beyond just jobs.

With New York City’s first ever casino, we have an unprecedented opportunity to inject a new revenue base into New York’s economy.

Resorts World New York is expected to generate more than $300 million in annual revenue for the state. This is money that will primarily go into our school system.

The construction of Resorts World New York will also include sweeping renovations to the historic Aqueduct Race Track. For decades, Aqueduct has been an icon of the South Ozone Park community, and with this project, we will help restore this famed venue to its earlier glory and revitalize the horse racing industry throughout New York City and State.

This project will help revitalize South Ozone Park.

An 8.3 percent unemployment rate in Queens is simply too high. Resorts World New York, however, will put a significant dent in that number and have an unprecedented impact on Queens’s economic climate. By working with community boards, local residents, and most importantly, local workers, I know that Resorts World New York will be as much a product of the community, as it is a staple of it.

Mike Speller is the President of Resorts World New York


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