Jobseekers migrate to Illinois for Hard Rock casino

Published: Feb. 3, 2022 at 5:39 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - It may be a couple of years away, but Rockford’s Hard Rock Casino is a drawing employees from all over the United States.

“I took the opportunity for me, my next step in my career just to be a part of this,” said Miguel Pascual, Rockford Casino’s Director of Human Resources.

It’s been a busy few months for Pascual, his wife and three young kids. They left their southern U.S. home, hoping to tap into the excitement of Rockford’s first casino.

“You find a hard time going anywhere in the world that doesn’t know Hard Rock’s name and the fact that we’re able to bring that up here in this area I think that will definitely help,” Pascual said.

He got hooked on the Forest City after only one visit. He says there’s a lot of potential in the region and at least 20 other employees agree.

“That’s from different areas from Atlantic City, some from California, a few from Texas, at least five or six of us from the state of Florida, some from Indiana, from you know multiple areas throughout the country really,” Pascual said.

Hard Rock administration says out of 8,750 applicants, 748 of them are from outside Illinois.

“The international is what really surprised me I didn’t expect this we had nine applicants from Brazil, four from Canada, one from Chile, 25 from China,” said Rockford Casino President Geno Iafrate.

Iafrate says so far, they’re happy with applicants Hard Rock hired.

“We were overwhelmed with not only the quantity of applicants but the quality of people that came forward, here in Rockford and the region and I guess based on the numbers I just talked about, around the world, was pheromonal,” Iafrate said.

The casino’s goal is to hire more than a thousand employees, what leaders call a boom for Rockford.

“We’re of course only expected to continue to grow, we’re on boarding, we’re bringing on fresh faces every day, new rockers,” Pascual said.

Hard Rock administration also say of the 748 out of state applicants, 238 are our neighbors to the north coming from Wisconsin.

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