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Thousands of job seekers attend MGM event

Saturday - 6/21/2014, 1:14am  ET

MGM_Jobs.JPG
Workers gather at Bowie State University for a job showcase for MGM National Harbor, which is expected to open in 2016. (WTOP/Jessica Greenberg)

Lots of activity ahead of official groundbreaking

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BOWIE, Md. - Job seekers looking to open the MGM National Harbor showed up at Bowie State University to put their cards on the table for a new career. The event was moved from Oxon Hill because the nearly 2,000 people who registered would have been too many for the original venue.

The $925 million casino and 300-bed luxury resort hosted a career showcase for prospective employees to meet MGM staff and find out what jobs might be available for them.

"We're gonna hire 3,600 people for this project," said Lorenzo Creighton, president and chief operating officer of MGM National Harbor. He says those jobs will be backed by a "$160 million annual payroll."

While some executive positions may be available soon, the main purpose of the event is to make a list of employees that would fit well in the company.

"We're a customer service business so we're looking for good people and we're looking for people who are willing and anxious to learn about how to provide a good service," Creighton said.

Jobs that will be available include maids, accountants, security guards, computer IT professionals and hundreds more. Many attendees used computers that tested their personality and recommended positions based on the person's answers to a series of questions.

Christopher Gassaway, 25, of Washington D.C., says he is qualified in many areas and hopes to land a career with MGM. "I think it's time for me to move on to something better, and have security, that is something everybody wants these days," he said.

Youlondia Armstead, 45, of Fort Washington, Md., has held the same accounting job for the past 9 years in Fairfax, Va., and commutes three hours a day to-and- from work. MGM National Harbor is three minutes from her home and "the biggest benefit that I will see is spending time with family."

Alan Butler, 55, of Oxon Hill, works for a D.C.-area sports team, "I am currently working but looking for the opportunity when the hotel is built in 2016," he said.

Michael Ogunwumi, 31, of Bowie Md., says he is just curious. "I'm just getting information, just kind if seeing what it offer and what position would best suit me," Ogunwumi said.

Tracy Lee is with the University of Maryland, College Park and says she came out to see how students from the college can benefit from the new casino and resort. "A lot of curiosity about what some of the jobs are gonna be available, how they might help our student and the university, and how we can partner with MGM."

Ground breaking at MGM National Harbor is set to take place later this year, with the casino and resort opening its doors in the summer of 2016. Most of the hiring is expected to be done in the year prior to the opening.

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