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Buffalo Casino Job Fair Attracts Hordes of Applicants

A large number of applicants for the about to be constructed Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino turned up in downtown Buffalo Thursday.

Hundreds of job-seekers, totaling at almost a thousand, gathered at the Adam's Mark Hotel where the job fair is being held. A good number turned up more than an hour before the doors opened, hoping to secure employment as early as about 18 months ahead of the Buffalo casino's expected debut.

"I'm so excited about a casino opening in Buffalo and all the excitement it will bring to the city," said Lisa Grasso of West Seneca, hoping to be employed as a cocktail waitress. "Buffalo is kind of a dying city, and this will give us new life and new jobs."

"I worked in slots in Niagara Falls and would love to do it here in Buffalo so I don't have to make the long drive," said Corey Dickens of Buffalo, who previously worked at the Seneca Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls. "It was a great job." Dickens signed up for a slot machine operations position.

By the end of the scheduled four-hour job fair, 427 hopefuls have enlisted. "The wages and benefits are definitely attractive," said an applicant who refused to be named. "I have a decent job in information technology, but I'm getting a little bored."

The Buffalo job fair was a preview of the wide range of jobs that will be available when the Buffalo Creek Casino opens in the Buffalo City's Cobblestone District in late 2007, said Christina Jimmerson, human resources director at Seneca Niagara Casino. "We want to let the community know it's a lot more than dealers and slots," Jimmerson said. "We're going to need culinary arts and finance professionals, security and transportation staff, housekeeping staff and retail employees. The opportunities are many and very diverse."

"This reminds me of the job fair we held in Niagara Falls before we opened the hotel, and at that point we were doing interviews and hiring," Seneca Gaming spokesman Phil Pantano said. "This kind of turnout indicates the positive impact Seneca Buffalo Creek will have on the Buffalo and Western New York economy."

Seneca gambling and hospitality operations in Niagara Falls and Salamanca presently employ more than 3,000 residents surrounding their area of operations.

"When is the last time anybody came to Buffalo with 1,000 jobs?" mused Lynette Wilson of Buffalo. "Just the possibility of something like this happening here is wonderful. It will be worth the wait."