Women, minorities get over 50% of Aqueduct jobs

The developer of the Aqueduct project said the company has far surpassed its goal of hiring minority and female employees.
By Howard Koplowitz

More than half of the construction workers who are building the casino project at Aqueduct Race Track are either minority or female employees, higher than the developer’s goal of 25 percent that it set in its bid for the contract, the company announced Monday.

Resorts World New York said 54 percent of the project’s workforce is comprised of minorities and women and that 33 percent of the subcontractors and suppliers working under general contractor Tutor Perini are either minority- or women-owned businesses.

“Creating a diverse work force 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 Resorts World New York President Mike Speller. “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.”

The developer pointed out that a recent study by city Comptroller John Liu found only 2.4 percent of contracts awarded by city agencies last year were given to minority- and women-owned businesses.

Tutor Perini has awarded $50 million in subcontracts to minority- and women-owned businesses for the Aqueduct project.

“Resorts World’s commitment to diversity reflects their unwavering goal of improving our communities,” said Ruth Harvey, president of the Jamaica-based project cleanup firm Ametis Industries, Inc. “As the proud owned of a certified Women Owned Business Enterprise, I am especially happy to see that Resorts World has followed through with its stated commitment to creating a work force 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.”

Resorts World said that when the casino opens, the facility’s minority and women workers will comprise 60 percent of the permanent jobs.

The developer announced last month that it is running on a condensed schedule that will see 2,500 video lottery terminals in operation in late summer compared with the 1,600 originally planned to be opened by then.

The casino project is expected to employ more than 900 workers in the entertainment, hospitality, security and food service fields and provide $300 million in revenue for the state each year.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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