Stockton University students team with Atlantic City casinos to help fill worker void

Stockton University students are helping to fill a worker shortage in Atlantic City this summer.
The Hard Rock Casino has entered its busy season for the summer. But keeping the casino staffed hasn’t been easy.
“Staffing for the industry has been a struggle since the pandemic,” says Bob Ellis, Hard Rock Atlantic City’s vice president of human resources. “I can tell you we’re short 300 bodies.”
But thanks to a new partnership between businesses and the university, students are helping to fill that void.
About 145 students have been placed at seasonal jobs in Atlantic City under a new pilot program. Their housing is on Stockton’s Atlantic City campus and is being paid for by the employer.
“I’ll be working at the Hard Rock as a front desk agent, so I’ll be checking in the guests, assisting them with their rooms,” says junior Yanet Reyes.
The students will be working in many different places of the industry.
“It's not just front service like what we typically see. We have individuals in finance and communications and IT - in addition to what we typically would think of in the casino industry as dealers and bartenders and food service,” says Leamor Kahanov, provost and vice president of academic services.
The students say that even though they may not be working in the field that they are currently studying, the skills that they are learning on these jobs are invaluable.
"I learned from the front desk a lot of how to talk to people and how to be and socialize with people and how to talk to them and how to problem-solve,” says junior Nupur Parekh.
Each student is also taking a free four-credit online course in career readiness and leadership.
Stockton says they're hoping to expand the program to include small businesses looking for workers next summer.