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Atlantic City Casino Industry to Give Priority to Local People Instead of J-1 Visa Workers in Job Applications

Labor, government and casino industry leaders have supported a proposal aimed at reducing the number of J-1 visa workers employed at Atlantic City’s gambling venues. The proposal has been unveiled as part of an effort to make sure there are more jobs available to local residents.

According to reports, the gradual reduction of the number of J-1 visa workers in Atlantic City only to open more job positions for local residents could begin as early as the spring of 2021. Some job training programs that are focused on preparing prospective employees to work are set to start this fall.

The city and state government joined forces with Unite Here Local 54, the Casino Association of New Jersey and the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority to work on the project and guarantee more jobs for local residents. According to several sources with knowledge of the matter, the aforementioned organizations and authorities are set to participate in the establishment and implementation of a number of vocational training programs focused on opening more jobs for city and county residents.

Steve Callender, president of the Casino Association of New Jersey and the Atlantic City regional president of Caesars Entertainment, shared that the local gambling industry had always been supportive of the idea of giving priority to Atlantic City residents when it comes to job application.

Campaigners Claim New Policy Could Open Up At Least 700 Casino Jobs for Local Residents

Reportedly, the exact number of foreign workers and students employed in the nine casinos on the territory of Atlantic City varies every year, but the supporters of the proposal for reducing the number of J-1 visa workers have shared that the number of jobs that could open up for local residents is no less than seven hundred.

The casino industry in Atlantic City was approached early in 2020 by Mayor Marty Small Sr., who managed to secure their commitment for a job fair especially for city residents that should have been held in May. However, the plans were put on hold following the coronavirus pandemic outbreak in March that resulted in the casino industry closure. Earlier this week, Mayor Small shared that the situation brought further clarity on his administration’s stance that authorities should further join efforts to make sure local residents are put first in the employment process.

The co-owner of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, Joe Jingoli, officially made the proposal at the time when the industry group held its meeting earlier this week. Some details of the proposal are still being considered but the idea was welcomed by other members of the group. On the other hand, the president of the casino workers’ union Local 54, Bob McDevitt, explained that the parties involved in the process believe they could start with the vocational training programs in September and will pursue a spring deadline to have local people ready to work in the sector.

 Author: Harrison Young

Harrison Young is an experienced writer, who started his career almost 8 years ago. Prior to joining our team at CasinoGamesPro, he worked as an editor for a small magazine.