James Raybon is happy to have a job at a Mobile store but his heart is in the casino industry. That's why the former Ocean Springs resident came to the Boomtown Casino job fair Wednesday, hoping to be one of the employees who welcome back the players in a couple of months.
"I want to get back to Mississippi and work with the casino and get back to my casino family," he says.
Raybon worked at Biloxi's Casino Magic and was about to start a new job at the Hard Rock, but those plans folded when the hurricane hit. So he's gambling on one of 400 jobs Boomtown is filling.
"It's just the thrill of meeting people from different aspects of life, from different states. Tourists, you know first time coming to a casino. That's the best part of it. Or just seeing friends who come by you hadn't seen in a while," Raybon says.
Boomtown will be the fourth casino to reopen. Most of the staff will return and some of the applicants are being hired on the spot.
Marketing Director Chet Harrison says, "Some administrative, mostly slots, food and beverage. We've had some players' club, some motor coach representatives, fairly across the board, accounting, we're looking for several revenue auditors."
The casino expects to put its people back to work by September, at the latest. Raybon says the sooner the better.
"I miss being home and being in that atmosphere."
Many of the applicants say housing is not a concern since they either live here already, or in Raybon's case, he's willing to commute from Grand Bay.
Boomtown will have another job fair on May 30 and 31st at the D'Iberville Community Center.