Horse­shoe Casino funds helped 300 find jobs, city mayor says

Baltimore Sun - - MARYLAND - By Luke Broad­wa­ter lbroad­wa­ter@bal­ti­more­ twit­­broad­wa­ter

Money from Bal­ti­more’s Horse­shoe Casino has helped 300 res­i­dents find jobs, the mayor’s of­fice said Mon­day.

The Em­ploy­ment Con­nec­tion Cen­ter in South Bal­ti­more has en­rolled more than 1,200 res­i­dents in job-readi­ness pro­grams and placed 300 peo­ple in jobs with area busi­nesses since it opened a year ago.

The cen­ter’s $520,000 bud­get comes from lo­cal im­pact grants the casino is re­quired to fund. The cen­ter helped res­i­dents land jobs at El­li­cott Dredges, Hil­gar­t­ner Nat­u­ral Stone Co., Sec­ond Chance and Ama­zon, among other busi­nesses.

“This is an ex­am­ple of what hap­pens when busi­nesses, gov­ern­ment, and the com­mu­nity come to­gether to strate­gi­cally lev­er­age re­sources,” Mayor Stephanie Rawl­ings-Blake said in a state­ment.

The cen­ter’s goal is to match res­i­dents of South and South­west Bal­ti­more, in­clud­ing the neigh­bor­hoods of Pig­town, Cherry Hill and West­port, with lo­cal em­ploy­ers. It has a full-time staff of five.

It’s one of four satel­lite em­ploy­ment ca­reer cen­ters in Bal­ti­more op­er­ated by the Mayor’s Of­fice of Em­ploy­ment De­vel­op­ment.

Daraius Irani, chief econ­o­mist at the Re­gional Eco­nomic Stud­ies In­sti­tute at Tow­son Univer­sity, called the an­nounce­ment good news.

“For the city of Bal­ti­more, ev­ery job mat­ters,” he said. “Ev­ery job the pri­vate sec­tor is pay­ing for is one less job that doesn’t have to come from state or lo­cal gov­ern­ment.

“Think about if a com­pany were to come in and add 300 jobs. ... If you can add 300 jobs ev­ery year with an em­ploy­ment cen­ter, that’s good news.”

Horse­shoe Casino, with more than 2,100 em­ploy­ees, is one of the largest pri­vate em­ploy­ers in Bal­ti­more. Nearly 60 per­cent of its em­ploy­ees are city res­i­dents, com­pany of­fi­cials said.

“As a lo­cal em­ployer whowants to hire the best can­di­dates in the com­mu­nity, we’re pleased to sup­port a fa­cil­ity that helps in­di­vid­u­als learn the skills they need to ex­cel in the work­force,” Horse­shoe gen­eral man­ager Erin Cham­ber­lin said in a state­ment.

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