Using Former Inmates to Revitalize Atlantic City
Steve Adubato sits down with Joe Jingoli, CEO, Joseph Jingoli & Sons, Inc., and Jack Morris, President & CEO, Edgewood Properties, to discuss employment growth at the Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City, the revitalization of Atlantic City, and how they help ex-prisoners reenter the workforce.
"Welcome to State of Affairs. I'm Steve Adubato. We are coming to you from the Agnes Varis NJTV Studio in beautiful Brick City, Newark, New Jersey. By popular demand, we have them back. Joe Jingoli is CEO, Joseph Jingoli & Son, and also Jack Morris, President CEO and of Edgewood Properties. Gentlemen you have... you're celebrating, as we do this program, the one-year anniversary of Hard Rock in Atlantic City. It's a casino. It's more than a casino, right? The Hard Rock Atlantic City. Entertainment, restaurants... You got the whole thing going there? It's been about a year Jack. So we had you guys here when it was happening? That's right. A lot of people from Atlantic City being employed? Yes. Of the 4,000 employees you have, you said 1,300 from AC? 1,300 from AC. How does that happen? Tell folks. It doesn't happen easy. We worked hard. We worked with the local people of Atlantic City... Local union, is that Local 54? Local 54. Joe worked really hard with everybody to make this happen, and we're real proud of what we said we were gonna deliver. We delivered that. And were doing great things in Atlantic City. Joe when you came in here last year with Jack, you talked about the fact that you wanted to hire people from Atlantic City, but it wasn't easy. What makes it challenging? You know, it was actually not that hard. We focused on Atlantic City residents. Our HR department, and of course, our partners, and the operator Hard Rock was on board with that. We opened up with 20 percent of our employees as Atlantic City residents. And what happened, as we constrict it, for the Winter months, that number went up. It went up to 25 percent. Which said that when our managers could pick who to keep, they kept Atlantic City residents. Which is what we knew, there is a viable, trainable workforce there. We partnered ourselves, and all the other casinos, with Local 54, and with the support of Rob Angelo in the Department of Labor. Of the Department of Labor? Right? Secretary of Labor. Yeah. Yeah. We started the first workforce development program in the history of Atlantic City and it's up and running. It's funded by... half with the Department of Labor, and the industry kicking in the other half. Public-private partnership? Yes sir. So Jack, let me ask you, we've known each other a long time, we've talked about a whole range of things offline as well. What I'm curious about is, did you see... the both of you have been very successful in developing, building, making things happen. When you went into AC, lots of questions..."