Rohnert Park Casino Kicks Off Hiring Spree

The first wave of applicants are interviewed, while Station Casino General Manager discusses wages, security issues, unions and more


The Mountain Shadows Shopping Center has not exactly been a hub of activity ever since Pacific Market left.

But on Monday, the commercial strip was busy as the first wave of Graton Rancheria casino job applicants filed in for interviews.

Recruiters received more than 3,000 applications over the past week, and that’s just for the first 200 positions.

The casino is estimated to offer a total of 2,000 jobs when it opens by the end of this year.

“The tribe has worked long and hard for the better part of a decade to bring this to where it is today,” said Joe Hasson, vice president of Station Casinos, which is managing the Graton Rancheria Casino & Resort. “We’re going to extend 2,000 jobs to people, and in a tough economy, and I think people will appreciate the opportunity to work, and in good jobs where they can actually build a career.”

The majority of the casino jobs will be full-time, with some part-time work available. Station Casinos has sometimes been criticized for quelling employee efforts to unionize, something Hasson dismissed as illegal.

“There’s no such thing as ‘Not allowed to have a union’ and our workforce here is welcome to consider what a union has to offer,” he said. “The (Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria) tribe has a longstanding reputation and relationship with Unite Here.”

Jobs include games dealers, security personnel, servers and bartenders, as well as in human resources, accounting and IT, among others. Priority in hiring will be given to members of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria and Rohnert Park residents.

“Our wages will be competitive, they’ll be some of the some of the highest in the hospitality industry in the Northern California,” Hasson said. “A full-time dealer will earn a terrific living, $35,000 to $40,000 (tips notwithstanding) a year, perhaps even more.”

Asked about the casino’s security plan, Hasson said he was not at liberty to discuss details, but stressed that security and surveillance would comprise a “substantial” part of the jobs offered.

Among the 100-plus applicants interviewed Monday was 35-year-old Santa Rosa resident Mike Jackson.

Jackson, a single father of a teen daughter, said he has been without full-time work for about a year after being laid off from the Toyota dealership where he had worked for more than 10 years.

“I had another job as a medical courier, but I was laid off from that in 2010,” Jackson said, adding that he had to move in with his mother in order to make ends meet. “It’s been trying times for sure.”

Nearby, 24-year-old Raymond Hernandez, a Rohnert Park resident who now works as a stocker at a local store, was hoping to score a promotions jobs at the new casino.

“I definitely think it’s going to help the community,” he said.

To find out more careers at the Graton Rancheria Casino & Resort, visit Gratonresortcasino.com

Like Rohnert Park-Cotati Patch on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. And sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter. Have an opinion about what’s going on? Share it with a blog.

Ralph Hutchinson April 23, 2013 at 06:51 PM
Rohnert Park average wage according to CNN/Fortune/Money is: Median family income (per year) $75,371 thats double the wage Station Casino says is a "terrific living.?" April 11, 2013 Station Casino Trouble with Union Organizing: Link ---> http://www.culinaryunion226.org/news/clips/local-clergy-side-with-union-in-battle-with-station-casinos "The National Labor Relations Board today found Station Casinos of Las Vegas violated federal labor law in dozens of instances in its response to Culinary Union organizing efforts" Culinary Union. Link ---> http://www.vegasinc.com/news/2012/oct/02/national-labor-relations-board-sides-culinary-unio/ Link ---> http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2012/mar/23/culinary-union-appears-dug-long-fight-against-stat/ Station Casinos on the verge of harassment to organizing Union Members? Link ---> http://www.reviewjournal.com/opinion/editorials/union-tactics-targeting-station-casinos-verge-harassment
Judd Ames April 23, 2013 at 08:45 PM
"...Some public opposition to these activities seems to center around the fear that Indians may be cheated by their business partners. Such fears smack of paternalism and ignore the reality that few if any valuable resources can be found on Indian lands. Few private investors have come forward to work with Indian tribes outside of the gaming industry. With few choices, wise reservation leadership view gaming as an interim step toward greater economic independence…The amazing adaptive capabilities of California Indians has demonstrated the resiliency and genius of these much misunderstood and hard working tribes can achieve under the most unfavorable of circumstances. We know, and our friends and counter parts in local and national governmental agencies must understand that only through the exercise of our tribal sovereignty can we successfully take our rightful place in our prosperous and free nation..." --Overview of California Indian History, Prof. Edward D. Castillo, Sonoma State University
Judd Ames April 24, 2013 at 06:51 AM
@Ralph Hutchinson Graton Rancheria Casino & Resort management was quoted: "A full-time dealer will earn a terrific living, $35,000 to $40,000 (tips notwithstanding) a year, perhaps even more." Just guessing, included tips might add another $5,000 to $10,000 per annum. Conversely, you wrote: "Rohnert Park average wage according to CNN/Fortune/Money is: 
Median family income (per year) $75,371 thats double the wage Station Casino says is a 'terrific living.?'" You're a credit banker, right? You should be abundantly aware that your "average wage" (per capita income) and combined "Median family income" are not at all the same. Per US Census 2011 data, your "average wage," AKA per capita income, was $28,203 per Rohnert Park resident (<$35K-$40K+tips), whereas Rohnert Park 2011 combined "Median family income" was $71,726. Ref: http://tinyurl.com/ak8cqha Is juggling apples and oranges how you pitch credit, too? You've certainly proved this quote again: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics." --Mark Twain
Ralph Hutchinson April 24, 2013 at 12:52 PM
Unions form because workers are not treated fairly. Station Casinos has had trouble with the Food Services Culinary Union. That's a reported fact which I provide links. If RP is happy so be it, I'm pointing out evidence of employee abuse and comparisons that suggest the wages might be lower than reasonable. I point out a track record, pattern and practice so the People of Sonoma County can see the complete picture and make an informed decision. As a banker we underwrite based on Debt to Income ratios so the more income the more resources a borrower can obtain. I'm just looking out for the people. Judd, You seem to constantly be advocating for Casinos and a small group of Indians that will benefit off the backs of gambling addicts and citizens who never got a vote but who the majority don't support Graton Casino. I will continue to speak on behalf of the People.
Ralph Hutchinson April 24, 2013 at 01:55 PM
"Station Casinos is now the worst labor law-breaker in the history of Nevada gaming. Station Casinos has been found to have broken federal labor law eighty-eight (88) times, according to two NLRB Administrative Law Judges. That is the largest number of unfair labor practices committed by a single employer in the history of Nevada gaming. The company has appealed the judges’ recommended decisions. The National Labor Relations Board in Washington, DC, denied the appeal in one case and adopted the judge’s decision in full.  The other case is pending at the Board."
Ralph Hutchinson April 24, 2013 at 01:57 PM
"Why Station Casinos Workers Are Standing Up and Demanding a Fair Process Workers suffered greatly after the 2007 leveraged buyout. While 13 company insiders, including the Fertittas (majority owner), got paid $660 million in cash thanks to the LBO, more than 2,800 workers (20% of the workforce) were fired from January, 2008, to January, 2010, and those who kept their jobs saw their healthcare costs skyrocket and lost their employer-paid 401(k) match (restored last January). At the end of July, 2012, the workers got a wage increase for the first time in five years."
Pete April 24, 2013 at 03:19 PM
In 1999, Greg Sarris said "banks have already approached tribal leaders about crafting loan packages and developing business ideas. Only environmentally sensitive options will be considered, he adds." (Gathering of the tribes, by Mike Thomas, UpFront, The Pacific Sun, April 7-13, 1999). In December 2003 he changed his tune. When recognition was restored, Sarris said publicly that the tribe wasn't planning on building a casino. The tribe explored other options, 'all of which need capital or there is already a glut of here.’ ‘No bank was going to give us money' Enter Station Casinos, ‘Any good economist will tell you we made a prudent decision. As I tell my friends, do the math.’ (The Graton Band's Last Stand, by R.V. Scheide, The North Bay Bohemian, December 4-10, 2003.) Which is it? They either were approached by banks, or they weren't approached by banks.
Pete April 24, 2013 at 03:20 PM
Even banks like Wells Fargo has special programs to assist tribes in developing and implementing business plans. In addition, Graton Rancheria, which between 2000 and 2010, had no land with infrastructure to support, was garnering about a million a year from the state fund for non-gaming tribes. Invested wisely, this would have been good seed money for a business. Graton Rancheria still has no infrastructure to support; unlike reservations where people actually live, no tribal members will be living on the Rohnert Park land. The casino sits on the high and dry side of the land, and the remainder of the property is under water in any normal rainy season.
Dave Jones May 08, 2013 at 05:18 PM
I was just hired by the Casino, and I can tell you $40k is a damned sight better than 0.
Ralph Hutchinson May 08, 2013 at 05:46 PM
Congrats Dave!! Can you share, is it fulltime and with health and retirement benefits? Which area/department of the casino?
kitkat May 13, 2013 at 08:49 PM
when is the grand opening?
David Huntington July 11, 2013 at 01:26 AM
The casino promises to pay competitive wages and benefits. Stations does NOT pay competitive wages in Las Vegas, where competition is fierce for qualified applicants. How can one expect Stations to offer competitive wages in a market they monopolize? Answer, they won't. Expect an overwhelming number of those 2000 jobs to be minimum wage, part time jobs with no benefits. Bet on it.
Concerned Citizen August 28, 2013 at 12:32 AM
With all the advertisement about dealers making $35-$40 per year, my daughter an experienced dealer (and college educated) traveled 3 hours for an opportunity to further her career in this industry. She was successful and paid her $100 non refundable Tribal background fee which she received her temporary gaming license and was just waiting for her job offer. Well she received the phone call with a job offer not the $15-$17 per hour she was expecting but $8.40 per hour. REALLY and to live in Sonoma County. She currently works for a casino and makes a minimal wage, however, she keeps her own tips and earns an average $15-$18 per hour. With that stated she lives where the medium income is $35,062 per year. She was ready to make Graton a career move and move up in the gaming industry (pit supervisor/banker and the endless opportunities). $8.40 per hour and you share your tips....below poverty level in that area where the medium income is $64,343 in Sonoma County. We will be requesting her non refundable $100 fee for her background gaming check due to the false advertisement/recruitment practices they are taking part in. She was so disappointed....she wouldn't even be able to rent a descent apartment on those wages!!
David Huntington September 30, 2013 at 07:53 PM
That's right, Concerned Citizen. Stations does not pay its dealers 35- 40K per year. They pay minimum wage, but state wages that INCLUDE tip estimates. I am guessing that $8.40 is the minimum wage in California (until it goes up top $9.00 next year?)
Ralph Hutchinson October 01, 2013 at 01:09 PM
Given Station Casino's record, I didn't really expect it to be a real Living Wage.
Emma Cay October 23, 2013 at 11:31 AM
Thanks for sharing. I have been looking for information on California Indian casinos. I think there should be more of them. They provide good jobs for the community. I think a wedding there would be just perfect. http://www.viejas.com/casino-information
Ralph Hutchinson October 23, 2013 at 12:01 PM
The Dry Creek Tribe from River Rock is working on a casino and infrastructure in Petaluma. Also, there is talk of a top shelf Indian Hotel in Glen Ellen as soon as Darius Anderson clears out the developmentally challenged and closes the existing facility. That should make for some beautiful weddings and minimum wage jobs. I believe the Miwoks from FIGR are leading the charge in Sonoma Valley. If we keep going we can have a casino on every corner like McDonalds all thanks to the visions of Greg Sarris but more so to our beloved Darius Anderson for showing Sarris just how wonderful life can be.
Ralph Hutchinson October 23, 2013 at 12:03 PM
And I would be remiss if I didn't give credit to Station Casinos one of Darius Anderson's most prized clients for providing the $800 million to back Graton Rancheria.
David Huntington January 13, 2014 at 12:11 PM
$800 million that was probably hidden from creditors during the bankruptcy which, in itself was an insult.
Ralph Hutchinson January 13, 2014 at 08:02 PM
In fairness I doubt they could hide $800 million from creditors. But it's common for these casinos across the country to get busted out washing them of liabilities in reorganization and little shareholders lose their shirts.
Jayden Eden March 25, 2014 at 09:42 PM
I am really interested in applying for this job. I think working at a casino would be a great job for myself. I am going to turn in my resume tomorrow and see if I hear back from them. Thank you for sharing this. Jayden Eden | http://www.viejas.com/casino-information


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something