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Thousands attend casino job fair

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The newest casino in the Chicago area is looking to hire workers. The Rivers Casino in Des Plaines plans to open for business this summer. The company is hosting prospective workers at the Rosemont convention center on Friday.

"One thousand jobs!" That headline is getting the attention of about 10,000 people who came to the

Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont Friday. They have been standing in line for hours, going through a process to hopefully get a job at Chicagoland's newest casino.

The crowd marched into the Rosemont convention center just before 9 a.m. Thousands of people -- fingers crossed -- are betting on about 1,000 jobs at the Rivers Casino and entertainment complex when it opens this summer in Des Plaines.

"Get hired by the casino, my hometown. A good opportunity, I thought," said potential applicant Manny Gomez.

"I'm just looking for any job I can get at this point. Any shift. Anything that's available at this point," said Therese Flynn.

Flynn has been struggling to find work for a year now, barely able to pay the bills, she says.

But, a surprising number of people who talked to ABC7 have jobs and are looking for better opportunities on the table.

"I've always loved the gaming industry. I've been in it for 14 years. I want to continue on. Just something different, something new," said potential applicant Anita Matthews.

Prospective employees are not filling out applications or handing out resumes today. This is just a meet and greet with managers who will hopefully remember the people who stand out.

"It's job info fair. They'll come in, get an information card, fill out some information about their career and work history, and then give it to one of the leaders in our work area here. They're meeting with the top people from the casino right off the bat in their first experience," said Kate McMahon, Rivers Casino human resources director.

Rivers Casino is not disclosing a salary range but is promising competitive pay and a benefits plan.

"Putting Illinois back to work is exciting," said McMahon. "As the director of HR, it's probably the most inspiring part of my job right now, to be able to offer this kind of opportunity."

The casino job fair runs until 4 p.m. Friday afternoon.

Since applications are not being accepted at the convention center, jobseekers are asked to visit to apply online.

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local, jason knowles


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