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(Brian Burnell, NECN, Springfield, Mass.) - There are two casino proposals to pick from in Springfield: the Penn National project in the north end and the MGM International downtown.
Both total about $800 million and promise to bring thousands of much-needed jobs to the city. MGM is not waiting for a decision. Its job fair is the latest of hundreds of meetings and events the resort company has held in the months since unveiling their idea.
It gives potential employees a look at what could be their future and gives MGM access to potential voters in the coming referendum.
"The folks that are attending today we will keep in touch with," said Kelley Tucky of MGM International. "We'll send them information. We think the more transparent we are and the more information we provide, the more successful we'll be."
Success is exactly what these potential employees are looking for. Many walk in with casino jobs, such as card dealer or roulette captain, on their minds.
"Did it kind of strike you that, wait a minute, its not just about gaming? It's, like, everything," said Springfield's Kayla Rolden, who is looking into a card dealing position. "They've got something for everybody."
Gambling gets the attention, but it takes so much more to run a resort casino. And people will come a long way to get a good job. As far away as Brooklyn, N.Y., from where Joshua Cadiz came.
"I came with my friends over here who live over here," said Cadiz. "It was a quick, sudden notice, so I gave it a shot."
Not only is MGM International not waiting for approval before holding a job fair; they are not waiting before hiring people.
And it is not just about jobs. It is also about local small businesses that would supply MGM.
"I own a business right on Bridge Street and I design and manufacture my own clothing," said Springfield's Noemi Souza, who hopes to become a retailer in MGM or a supplier for the resort.
But before that happens, MGM has to win the referendum in the city and beat out two other area proposals in Palmer and West Springfield.