More than 5,000 people came out to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont Friday for the opportunity to meet the management team behind the new Rivers Casino set to open in Des Plaines this July.
The 43,000 square foot venue is slated to provide approximately 1,000 job opportunities ranging from back of the house to front of the house, maintenance to management.
"This a huge opportunity," Des Plaines Mayor Martin Moylan said. "Jobs are the number one issue. You can tell by the amount of people here today, they're hungry and looking for work. With so many people out of work, we are thankful to Midwest Gaming for the opportunity to employ so many of our citizens."
"We've had a great turn out today," said Rivers Casino General Manager Bill Keena.
Resumes were not being accepted at the job fair, which was set up as more of a meet and greet. More than 3,000 people have already applied online.
"This has been fantastic for us because we're getting to meet people in the community and they're meeting us," said Rivers Casino Vice President Merrick Dresin. "With the difficult economy, this is a great opportunity for people. It's hard looking for work so we tried to make this as efficient and pleasant as possible. So far we've gotten good feedback."
"Everyone's been really nice," said Christine Gillespie of Chicago, who was looking at opportunities in guest services, hostessing and VIP services. "I've never been to a job fair before but I have to say this was very organized and ran very smoothly. They seem like a great company to work for."
Britney Ramey of Chicago and Rachael Kirby of Des Plaines came to the fair hoping to earn serving positions at one of the casino's six dining facilities, which include Hugo's Frog Bar and Chop House, a sports bar that will also act as a live performance space and night club, and a piano lounge located in the middle of the gaming floor. "I love to work with people and I'm friendly, so we'll see," said Kirby.
The casino is offering an extra perk for those who wish to apply for dealer positions with no experience--free training.
"We are providing training for table games free of charge," said Keena (attending a casino dealer course can cost anywhere from $500-$2,000). "They will still have to apply for positions after training, but if they aren't hired they can take that training elsewhere."
Applicant interviews will begin this month with hiring slated for the first week of June.
Prospective employees and interested vendors can learn about opportunities at the Rivers Casino website.