Quincy, FL -- November 13, 2011
The follow is a response from the United Florida Horsemen on the Gretna Casino Job Fair that took place this weekend:
"Members of the Florida horse racing Industry were chagrined to see angry job seekers being turned away yesterday from what was the reality of just a relatively few low-paying jobs at the Gretna Casino. What these unfortunate unemployed people don’t realize is that Gretna is purposely holding barrel racing instead of legitimate horse racing in order to avoid hiring for thousands more jobs that real horse racing would bring.
Because barrel racing uses fewer horses than legitimate horse racing, by holding barrel racing, Gretna is purposely cutting costs to avoid the expense of creating the jobs they could otherwise have available if real horse racing was being held there. It should speak volumes to job seekers that Gretna Casino officials couldn’t even be on hand to greet applicants at their own job fair. Meanwhile, because of Gretna’s capricious actions, 51,700 people employed by legitimate Florida horse racing stand to lose their jobs if “pari-mutuel barrel racing,” (on which legal action is pending) is allowed to irresponsibly expand gambling in Florida.
What’s worse, it could negatively impact the Seminole Gaming Compact that provides needed funds to Florida schools.”
Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association:
Kent Stirling, Executive Director *firstname.lastname@example.org*
Hundreds more than expected turned out at Workforce Plus in Quincy today for the Gretna Casinos job fair, causing it to end early.
Organizers say they expected about 250 applicants to show up for the fair that was looking to fill over 150 positions at the casino. But organizers estimate closer to 500 people actually showed up.
"The company is here for the long haul. We will be accepting applicants on behalf of P-C-I Gaming so all is not lost. The attempt is to make sure all individuals get an opportunity to be interviewed," says Kimberly Moore of Workforce Plus.
Some applicants say they were frustrated by having to wait several hours before getting in. At one point, frustrations boiled over and police were brought in for crowd control. Applicants who missed today's job fair can still apply.
The following joint statement was released by Gretna Racing, LLC, (Gretna Racing):
“It is unfortunate that today’s Creek Entertainment Gretna job fair ended prematurely. It is clear this community is anxious for the employment opportunities created by the project and we look forward to providing them.
“We sincerely appreciate the support of the community leaders and Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary Ken Lawson and Governor Rick Scott and his team for helping us make these jobs a reality for Gadsden County.
“It’s unfortunate that in this economy, the demand for jobs can cause emotions to run high and some individuals to resort to extreme measures to secure employment. We thank all of the individuals who turned out today. Ideally, we would be able to provide jobs for all of the individuals. It is our hope that as the project moves forward we will continue to increase the employment opportunities and provide Gadsden County residents with much needed jobs.”