NATIONAL GAMBLING IMPACT STUDY COMMISSION
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Mr. Cornelius.
MR. CORNELIUS: Ms. James, Commission, I'm a guest safety officer at Harrah's in Atlantic City, and I would like to thank everyone concerned for the opportunity to tell my story.
I was born and raised in Atlantic City and have seen many positive things in the past 18 years since the beginning of the casino industry. Before the opening of the casinos, I worked in factories for low wages, including a job as a presser in a clothing factory. Most of these factories closed down, including mine, and I was unemployed.
There was not an industry left in Atlantic City to work in. Luckily for me, I found the Atlantic Cape May Private Industry Council, a nonprofit organization that was providing training for new jobs, including those in the new casino industry.
After attending a ten-week class to learn about security, I was hired by Harrah's of Atlantic City as a security officer. My career at Harrah's has been very rewarding. I have been named Employee of the Month. I was even nominated for our most prestigious Corporate Chairman Award, but most of all, thanks to my work at Harrah's, I am now earning more money than I ever made in my life, and I've been able to purchase a home, a new car, and to care for my family, and to help raise my 46 year old sister who was born with Down's Syndrome.
I've also learned valuable people skills that I lacked prior to attending Harrah's training classes.
Because I've been so fortunate to have such a good job and a good life, I've even been able to give something back to the community. I serve in a group of people, which I was one of the original members, which is called Operation HELP. That means Harrah's Employees Love People, which stands for just that. There are over 100 of us in this group, and we assist the needy, the elderly, the homeless, and the less fortunate in our community.
I am proud of what I have achieved as a person, and it's thanks to Harrah's Casino and my job in the casino industry.
Thank you for listening to my story.
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Thank you.