Aqueduct job fair a success

Resorts World Casino in South Ozone Park will select its employees from the surrounding area – thanks to a partnership benefiting work-starved Queens residents.
The venerable gaming giant joined with the New York City Minority Business Leadership Council (MBLC) for a job fair hosted by the Council for Airport Opportunity (CAO) in Jamaica on Friday, June 17.
The CAO welcomed 175 job candidates in numerous fields to the fair. Those candidates were screened by the CAO staff and those that met the criteria – 89 of them – were then interviewed by Resorts World staff the very same day.
James Heyliger, co-chair of MBLC and president of the Association of Minority Enterprise of New York, said that he believes this job fair was merely the beginning of Resorts World’s concerted effort to hire qualified local personnel.
“Friday was an indication that we are going in the right direction,” he said. “People walked away feeling as though it was real.”
Days before the job fair, the Jamaica branch of the NAACP held a rally in front of the Aqueduct Racino calling for the developer to be more inclusive in terms of hiring local minorities who are qualified for the open positions.
Heyliger said that the efforts of Resorts World staff at the job fair assuaged his concerns and gave him reason to believe the developers truly do have Queens’ best interests in mind.
“I spoke to many of the people standing on line [at the job fair] and these people had the managerial experience. There were people there that had what the [Resorts World] was calling for,” he said. “The expertise does exist in our community.”
Philippa Karteron, the executive director of the New York division of CAO, said her organization’s main objective for this job fair was to foster community involvement in this major project in south Queens.
“The idea is to have a process that allows everyone to participate,” she said. “Job candidates were prescreened by [CAO] staff and the qualified individuals were forwarded to the casino.”
Resorts World spokesperson Stefan Friedman said that the local talent of this area has wowed the casino developer.
“Resorts World Casino New York has been thrilled by the representative skill sets and sheer number of local applicants who have already applied for one of the 1,150 permanent jobs available at the new facility,” said Friedman. “We look forward to meeting with applicants who have come to us through the Council for Airport Opportunity’s job fair and to continue delivering on our commitment to hire locally.”

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