Southland Park Taking Steps to Fill New Jobs

AUGUST 30, 2006 -- POSTED AT 10:00 P.M. CDT

WEST MEMPHIS, AR -- Since Southland Greyhound Park began its campaign to add games of skill to the gambling facility, the focus has been the number jobs that would be added if games of skill were allowed. The games have come and now park management has started the process of looking for workers. A two day job fair has seen nearly 2500 people apply.

"We have a series of 5 tables. Table 1 you get an application form, then they line up for an interview, depending on what they want to interview for. We send them to 10 different interviewees and after that, they're deemed ready for the next step. They go to a drug testing center onsite, and then there's just one more place to go through to be questioned one more time, and then it's just a waiting process," says Barry Baldwin, the president of Southland Park.

With the recent growth of the park, a variety of positions are being added.

"From maintenance, to surveillance and security, food and beverage, gaming floor, back up house, accounting, auditing, we're pleasantly surprised at the quality of applicants," says Baldwin.

Southland currently employees 328 people, but will soon have a staff of nearly 600.

"It's going to put a lot of people right now that are unemployed to work and others who are employed already, put them in better paying positions," says Baldwin.

But the applicants aren't just coming from West Memphis. It's creating jobs for people all over Northeast Arkansas.

"We've had a lot of applicants from Forrest City and from Jonesboro. Today we've had a lot from Blytheville, so we'll be heavily employing Arkansans," says Baldwin.

The average salary for the 250 positions is $30,000. They hope to have all the jobs filled by the beginning of November.