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Aqueduct developers deliver on jobs

Minority and female workers answered the call and now compose more than half of the Resorts World New York (RWNY) current construction workforce at the former Aqueduct Casino in South Ozone Park – far surpassing the 25 percent goal set in the casino’s application to the state.

“Creating a diverse workforce has always been a top priority for Resorts World Casino New York, which is why we are so pleased that we are far exceeding even our own high expectations in this crucial area,” said Michael Speller, president of RWNY. “This project is about creating a facility for New Yorkers and tourists of all backgrounds, so we are excited that the individuals and organizations responsible for its construction are as diverse as those we hope to attract once it opens.”

Speller said that minority and female workers compose 54 percent of the workforce and that the percentage of Minority and Women Owned-Business Enterprise (MWBE) certified subcontractors and suppliers working under general contractor Tutor Perini now stands at 33 percent of total contracts awarded to date.

RWNY’s numbers stand in stark contrast to numbers from the city comptroller’s office, which awarded just 2.4 percent of contracts to MWBE subcontractors in 2010. With these numbers, the RWNY project far exceeds the expected participation level of minorities and women.

To date, Tutor Perini has awarded nearly $50 million in subcontracts to MWBEs. Ruth Harvey, president of the Jamaica-based project cleanup firm Ametis Industries, Inc., said that RWNY’s diverse workforce reflects that of Queens itself.

“Resorts World’s commitment to diversity reflects their unwavering goal of improving our communities,” she said. “As the proud owner of a certified women-owned enterprise, I am especially happy to see that Resorts World has followed through with its stated commitment to creating a workforce as diverse as the community in which the new facility will operate. I look forward to seeing the finished project, which I know will be a source of pride for all of Queens.”

Queens workers will also benefit once the casino officially opens – with 60 percent of permanent jobs slated to go to minorities and women. RWNY recently announced a condensed opening schedule that will allow the new casino at Aqueduct to open its doors with more components earlier than expected. Under the new schedule, 2,500 Video Lottery Terminals will be operational – rather than the 1,600 originally slated – when the casino opens in late summer.

Information on further bid packages will be announced in the coming weeks. For information about permanent jobs at RWNY, visit www.rwnewyork.com.

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