By Albert Baldeo:
A Daily News investigation has found that although the Resorts World Casino New York City may be raking in money for the state, it is falling short in terms of taking care of its own backyard, and that the South Ozone Park facility employs only 60.2% of its staff from Queens — considerably less than promised before it opened.
That means that the company fell short of the promise made in June 2011, when Michael Speller, its president, publicly pledged that 70% to 80% of the staff would be hired from Queens.
In job growth, that translates to 181 to 365 less jobs, and at a hypothetical average salary of even $30,000 a year, a 10% shortfall means $5.4 million in lost wages for Queens residents, according to the Daily News analysis. In this economy, that is vital for many struggling families.
As a Community Advocate and District leader who serves the Ozone Park, South Ozone Park and Richmond Hill area, we would like to thank the Daily News for its revelations, and call upon Resorts World to fix this problem. We have heard many complaints that residents have not even received the courtesy of a reply in reference to their job applications. Many of these residents were painfully displaced when the Aqueduct Flea Market was closed after decades of existence at this facility, a casualty of Resorts World’s expansion. Many applied for the most basic jobs-clerks, janitors, security guards, cooks, waiters and porters. Yet, they were ignored.
Many of these applicants are regulars and are part of the loyal base of gamers who have helped Resorts World earn its $476 million to date since its opening. We suggest that hiring policies and data be more open and accessible to all, that more information about job vacancies and hires be made public to the surrounding communities, and that requirements like the one mandating “all applicants must apply on line” be expanded, as it shuts out a large number of people who are not computer savvy.
Lost somewhere in Resorts World’s financial boom, is that guiding principle, “Charity begins at home.” They need to find it.
Albert Baldeo, Community Advocate: 106-11 Liberty Avenue, Ozone Park, NY 11417 (718) 529-2300