NATIONAL GAMBLING IMPACT STUDY COMMISSION
Mr. John Dossett.
MR. HARLOWE: Yes. Dear Commission members, my name is David Harlowe, and I'm an employee of the Atlantic City Hilton, and I would like to take this opportunity to tell you how the casino industry has influenced me as a lifetime resident of Atlantic County, New Jersey.
In 1980, while attending a local community college, my parents could not afford to send me to a large college and with little likelihood of finding employment locally, I took on a part-time job with a casino to help defray the cost of school. This first step into the casino industry 18 years ago is one of the most important decisions I have made.
The casino industry is a firm believer in upward mobility of its people. I have worked for seven different casino companies during this time. Every one of them has offered invaluable training classes that have enabled me to become the person I am today. It has given me the opportunity to work in casinos both in the United States and overseas.
This, in turn, has given me exposure to other cultures and lessons to the importance of life on a global perspective.
Financially, the industry has enabled me to be independent. I purchased my first home in 1984 at the age of 24 by myself, and this had been without working at a higher paying casino pit related position. Most of my time has been spent in the accounting and cashiering areas of the industry.
These companies offer some of the best benefits to be found in the South Jersey area. They include paid time off, health, and life insurance, bonus programs, an example, the Employee of the Month Program, the 401(k) retirement plans, and employee stock purchase plans.
The standard of living -- excuse me. While using these benefits to my advantage, I have built myself a secure foundation for my future.
The standard of living has also improved for everyone living in the area by way of creation of new non-casino jobs because of the many companies moving into the area duBAto an increased population base. The employers offer better wages and benefits in order to compete for good employees.
I have found that these casino companies are very proactive in the surrounding communities, working with various organizations, schools and charity groups. Often casino employees volunteer their time and money supporting these worthwhile projects with the support of their employer. I am positive I would have been a different person if not for the better -- if I had not taken the advantage of the opportunity 18 years ago as a bus greeter in a casino.
From this entry level position, I have moved up the corporate _ dder one step at a time. With each step my hard work helped me advance to better positions. This has led to my present position as the manager of my own department for the past two and a half years.
The casino industry has created a positive atmosphere in my community, enabling me to live amongst friends and family, whereas previously I believed this would not have been possible.
Thank you for your time.
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Thank you.