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Hundreds Expected at Kenosha Casino Rally


About 500 people are expected to attend a rally Wednesday night in Kenosha to support the construction of a tribal casino.

The host is Republican state Rep. Samantha Kerkman. Not only is she planning a rally, she’s also promoting a new website.

Hard Rock International launched the site a few weeks ago. Hard Rock is partnering with the Menominee Nation in proposing the $800 million dollar gambling and entertainment complex.

The new web site invites people interested in working at a Kenosha casino to note their interest.

“If somebody is looking for a new job or somebody who’s unemployed, they can register so that we have a ready workforce when the governor does approve the casino,” Kerkman says.

Kerkman says, so far, about 1,800 people have registered their interest on the site. She insists nobody has been interviewed for jobs or hired yet, but says it’s important to keep the issue on the governor’s radar screen.

“I think it gives the governor an opportunity to see how many people are interested,” Kerkman says.

Over at Gateway Technical College, its campuses in Kenosha and Racine are ready to train workers to fit a myriad of jobs at a casino, according to Bryan Albrecht. He’s president of Gateway. Albrecht says potential jobs include everything from information technology to culinary arts.

“We have instructors in all those program areas because we already offer those programs at Gateway. We would have to increase our capacity which we are prepared to do. So, offering more sections, more flexibility and the times of the year that they’re offered,” Albrecht says.

Albrecht says Gateway is no stranger to training workers; over the years, it’s offered many programs for people employed in manufacturing jobs. Kenosha Mayor Keith Bosman says he can’t help but talk up the possibilities, if the casino is approved.

“There are a lot of jobs in play here,” Bosman says.

Governor Walker has until February to decide which priorities are most persuasive.

Marti was a reporter with WUWM from 1999 to 2021.
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