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Legendary Consideration

P. Kenneth Burns/WYPR

Officials with the Baltimore Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED) and Caesars Entertainment, operators of the Horseshoe Baltimore Casino, are offering job workshops with a special incentive for those in attendance.

The two-day workshops, called “Legendary Academies,” teach potential employees about casino operations, the personality types Caesars is looking for and the jobs that are available.  Those who attend the workshops will get special hiring consideration upon completion.

“We’ll give these individuals a specialized nametag so as they’re interviewing; then our hiring team can actually look at them a little more closely and give them consideration,” says Kanika Feaster, a recruitment coordinator with MOED who teaches the workshops.

Feaster was hired last August as part of an agreement the city entered into with Caesars to hire as many city residents as possible for casino jobs. Under the December 2012 agreement Caesars pays her salary while she works out of the mayor’s office to recruit and prepare residents for jobs at the casino.

During a recent workshop at Maryland New Directions in North Baltimore, Feaster said casino managers are looking for four things.

“Number one, upbeat and friendly persons; people who have a positive attitude; people who understand the importance of superb customer service and the ability to showcase lots of personality,” Feaster told the group.

She also told them what to expect during job interviews as well as on background checks.

Some who attended that workshop said they were looking for a change of pace. Others said they wanted some excitement, and some said they were looking for both.

Dawn Ray, who has a background in education, was looking for a customer service position while she works on a doctoral degree from Walden University.

“I want to just tap areas that I’ve not necessarily had original interest in and maybe tap some skills and things I didn’t know that I had,” Ray said.

Marcus Bookman, who tends bar at a downtown hotel, is hoping to get the same position with the Casino.

“I work across from the ballpark, so I got some excitement there but, I think it’s going to be all hours of the day and night where I see quite a lot of things happening,” he says.

The city is planning at least two more such workshops in May. Information is available on the office of employment development website.

While Caesars is no longer recruiting for table game dealers, casino managers will hold a job fair at M&T Bank Stadium on May 5-7 for other positions.  MOED spokesman Brice Freeman said job interviews will be conducted and some applicants could be offered jobs on the spot.

Managers are trying to fill 1,700 positions before the casino opens later this year.