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Three local colleges partner with casino to train workers
Penn National announced on Jan. 24 its partnership with three central Ohio colleges to train 1,200 employees for Hollywood Casino.
Columbus State Community College (CSCC), Central Ohio Technical College (COTC), and Hondros College will create programs for game table dealing, culinary arts and non-gaming positions later this year.
“Our goal in establishing training programs has been to take advantage of the vast resources available in central Ohio to ensure we will have a highly qualified, highly motivated workforce when we open late this year,” said Ameet Patel, general manager of Hollywood Casino.
Patel said all organizations involved in the hiring process agreed to place special attention to applicants living on the Westside.
He said assisting residents and businesses on the Westside in recovering from severe economic conditions is an important focus in planning for the casino.
“We want to make sure we include as many qualified Westside residents as possible as we reach out to central Ohio to fill the 2,000 jobs we are in the process of creating,” Patel said.
According to casino officials, employees will be reimbursed for their training.
COTC will provide training in the non-gaming fields of security, technical support and accounting starting this summer. These classes will be offered at locations throughout central Ohio. These courses will be run through its Workforce Development Innovation Center.
Additionally, the non-gaming training may have opportunity to count toward the completion of an associate degree.
“COTC’s mission is to meet the technical education and training needs of students and employers in the area,” said Joy Padgett, COTC director of government relations and grants in a press release. “Training the emerging workforce for good paying jobs with benefits and longevity is precisely in agreement with the core of COTC’s mission.”
Hondros College will helm the training for table game dealers. Casino gaming is one of the latest additions to the college’s curriculum, Hondros College already has campuses throughout the state that focus on the development of career skills in specialized fields including insurance, nursing and real estate.
“As an Ohio educational institution with 40 years of experience creating and developing career-focused programs, we are thrilled that graduates of Hondros College’s Ohio Casino Training Courses will fill the new jobs created by our partner Penn National,” said Linda Hondros, president of Hondros College.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the median wage garnered by gaming dealers in 2008 was $19,690 annually and supervisors saw an average salary of $45,500. Employment in the gaming industry is estimated to grow 14 percent by 2018.
Details on courses at Hondros College are being finalized and should be released by the end of February.
Training in food service operation and culinary arts will be headed up by CSCC.
“We’re certainly excited about being included in this innovative partnership,” said Mokie Steiskal, associate dean of career and technical programs at CSCC.
Steiskal said, as an accredited program with the American Culinary Federation, they have a rich history of working with the industry and have plenty to offer the casino.
Also, the Central Ohio Workforce Investment Corporation (COWIC) will work with the three colleges in identifying qualified applicants.
“These aren’t just new jobs, they are the start of new careers and new options for those looking for work in Franklin County,” said Suzanne Coleman-Tolbert, president and CEO of COWIC.
Casino officials said recruitment will begin in the spring, with hiring and training occurring over the summer. Applicants must be 21-years-old, be non-smokers and pass a drug test.
Hollywood Casino is slated to open around November.
To view career opportunities visit http://www.hollywoodcasinocolumbus.com/Careers.
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