Creating Local Jobs
Friday May 31st, 2013
Originally posted in The Rawlings-Blake Review, Issue #166
This week, I joined representatives from CBAC Gaming, minority and local business leaders, members of the community, and my colleagues in government to break ground for the new Horseshoe Baltimore Casino. It was no small feat to get to this major milestone, and I am thrilled that this critically important project is moving forward.
On the heels of the worst recession since the Great Depression, when many families are still struggling to find job opportunities, this couldn’t have come at a better time. During construction, the project will support nearly 2,000 direct and indirect construction jobs and $119 million in wages and benefits. Once it’s open, Horseshoe is expected to generate 1,900 direct and indirect permanent jobs with wages and benefits totaling $72 million each year.
At my direction, the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development has already put in place a local hiring agreement with CBAC Gaming to ensure that more city residents are in line to benefit from job opportunities generated by the new casino. We have also created a new recruitment coordinator position to help identify qualified city residents to apply for positions at the facility.
The facility will not only be an economic engine in terms of new jobs and tax revenues, it will be an engine that will fuel millions of dollars in new development throughout the area. Building off the strength of Camden Yards, M&T Bank Stadium and downtown Baltimore’s great hotels and restaurants, the Horseshoe Baltimore Casino will transform the gateway into Downtown Baltimore. And funds from the casino—including table game revenues—will be used to help build new schools and recreation centers and to support community grants in South Baltimore and Park Heights.
Finally, the City’s income from the ground lease supports a 20 cent property tax reduction for city homeowners—a major step forward in our ongoing efforts to provide tax relief to attract and retain residents. Most importantly, Horseshoe has committed to the Employ Baltimore program and will make every effort to employ Baltimore City residents. Make no mistake—the economic impact of this project on the city is historic.
I am grateful to Caesars Entertainment and to the dozens of local partners who have committed their support to this project.