For Chris Reese, 27, a job fair in Atlantic City could not have come at a better time.
A carpenter by trade, he said he’s been unable to find steady work through his union. And like many others, he needs to support his family, which includes two young children.
“I need something else because (union) work isn’t consistent. I don’t want to be a dealer, but I feel I could do just about any other job at a casino,” the Atlantic City resident said.
The Casino Association of New Jersey (CANJ) partnered with the New Jersey Division of Gaming (DGE) to host the citywide job fair. The five-hour event took place Thursday at the Atlantic City Convention Center.
Casino representatives and human research personnel from Caesars Entertainment, Bally’s, Borgata, Golden Nugget, Hard Rock, Resorts and Ocean were all represented. The tables were filled with information, pamphlets, brochures, and of course, socially distanced waiting for lines.
Doing the AC Job Fair walkthrough
Beginning at 10 a.m., each casino began taking applications and conducting interviews for Atlantic City casino and hotel positions.
Available jobs included:
Table games dealers
Food and Beverage servers
By 1 p.m., more than 1,000 job seekers stopped at different booths to apply for full and part-time jobs.
Reese stopped by the Caesars Entertainment booth and asked for EVS or maintenance work. EVS is responsible for maintaining and cleaning the entire casino.
Formerly of New York, Reese said he wanted to find a job located in Atlantic City that would pay him $15 an hour while living in the city.
“This is where my family lives and I have to support them,” Reese said. “So I want to work in Atlantic City.”
While he didn’t bring a resume, Reese explained his talents to Human Resources representatives Dawn Happersett and Henry Ou from Caesars.
He did find out about available jobs and decided to bring the information home to look over.
It’s no secret Atlantic City casinos have jobs to fill
Atlantic City continues to recover lost business during the third year of the coronavirus pandemic. So this summer is crucial.
Casinos and non-gambling businesses have made big investments with the hope of turning a corner to get customers to visit.
A concern is having enough staff to sustain the casino industry while casinos outside of New Jersey also are attracting qualified casino job candidates.
“We have full and part-time and on-call jobs. It just depends on what you want,” said Happersett, the director of training and employee services at Tropicana. “Food and Beverage are huge; we’re opening Hell’s Kitchen soon, and we always need housekeepers and front desk.”
Happersett said there were 500 openings and more than 60 people had shown up by 1 p.m. for interviews.
Four people who applied for cage positions at the casinos were “hired on the spot” because they were qualified to fill the money handling positions, she said.
Cage cashiers work in the cage area of a casino, where money, casino chips, credit chips, and other paperwork are circulated. They sell gambling chips, tokens, or tickets to casino patrons, pay out jackpots, and manage credit applications.
Ou added that many of the applicants were well-prepared for the interview process.
“That made it easy to help them find the right position,” Ou said. “We saw many good candidates today.”
Atlantic City casino job fair presents ‘terrific opportunity’
Job seekers were able to apply for open spots and conduct same-day interviews.
And this was good news for LaShauna Spence, 20, of Somers Point and friend Michael Dabney, 19, of Galloway Township. Both were seeking part-time work.
Spence and Dabney arrived for the afternoon session of the job fair in search of cocktail waitress jobs.
“I want part-time work either as a server or working by the pool,” said Spence, who is studying social work at Atlantic Cape Community College.
Spence said she enjoyed being a cocktail server at Ocean Casino Resort and wanted to do something similar. She also felt confident her experience would help her get hired.
Both women were encouraged by their mothers to find employment in the casino industry since both their mothers had worked at hotels or as waitresses in Atlantic City before their retirement.
“It’s all about tips and not salary,” Dabney added.
Dabney, who has retail experience, said she was going to apply at Tanger Outlets, which is located footsteps away from Bally’s and Caesars. However, many stores have closed.
“If I were going to go back to retail, I would have gone to the outlets to apply. But it’s getting worse there and not a lot of retail opportunities are available,” Dabney said.
The job fair, Dabney said, was “a terrific opportunity to let people see all the different jobs the casinos offer.”
Eric Tabar, 22, a student visiting Atlantic City from the Dominican Republic, said he was in Atlantic City on a J-1 work visa.
Tabar used the job fair to find out what other jobs were available in the casino industry.
“I have experience working in housekeeping and in culinary,” Tabar said. “I’m looking for $14 or $15 an hour.”
Golden Nugget AC reports an ‘excellent turnout’
Golden Nugget Human Resources Manager Mary Jo Sheridan counted more than 100 people who visited her hiring table by 1 p.m.
“We’ve had everyone from students to retirees looking for part-time work,” Sheridan said.
Some students came without resumes and didn't know where they wanted to work in the casino.
“Some of the students were specific where they wanted to be placed, but they required a little more guidance about how to get there,” Sheridan said.
Tiffany Brown, assistant director of human resources at Golden Nugget, said open positions at the casino hotel ranged from baggage attendant, bartender, to iGaming senior financial analyst, front desk agent, pool attendant, human resources coordinator, and poker dealer.
“I think we’ve had an excellent turnout today,” Brown said.
Brown and Sheridan also plan a job fair at Golden Nugget.
Open jobs are available on Atlantic City casino websites
Atlantic City’s casinos currently employ nearly 22,000 full-time and part-time workers, according to the DGE which also had a table set up to handle questions about applications and licensing.
Casinos throughout the city have been focused on recovering from the time they spent closed during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 2020, Atlantic City’s casinos were closed for 107 days at the height of the nationwide shutdowns.