When the chips were down, Eagle Mountain Casino turned to WIB

Eagle Mountain Casino represents more than just the center of entertainment for Tulare County. For the Tule River tribe, who solely own and operate the casino, the business functions as an economic engine for their people and the county, powering local commerce and empowering workers.

“The gaming house provides a place for people to get employed, get that work history, allow them to build their credit history, allow them to take care of themselves and their families and feel good about it,” says Tule River Tribal Vice Chairman, Neil Peyron.

Rooting for the casino means rooting for the community; regardless of your personal outcome at the slot machines or game tables, Tulare County always walks away a winner.

When COVID hit, Eagle Mountain Casino faced unavoidable layoffs — a painful reversal for the major employer. Billie Jo Brown, EMC’s Recruiting Manager, turned to Tulare County’s Workforce Investment Board for help. Within 24 hours, Tulare County Workforce Investment Board integrated with Eagle Mountain’s HR to provide a personalized webinar for more than 700 impacted employees on how to apply for UI and other relevant benefits and resources.

“Even folks with less technical skills could easily access information from their user-friendly portals,” says Brown, who praised the accessibility of the WIB’s response.

As the economy recovered and the stay-at-home order lifted, Eagle Mountain returned to WIB for positive news: aid for hiring needs. Fulfilling Brown’s goal of “working with local resources,” WIB streamlined the job board posting process and other advertising needs.

Today, the Tule River tribe breaks ground on their latest project: a new location for Eagle Mountain Casino. Generating more than 500 jobs for both casino and construction workers, EMC is back in its old role — local powerhouse. When describing the opportunities Eagle Mountain offers workers, Peyron said, “It’s not a handout, it’s a hand up.”

With the Tulare County Workforce Investment Board in their success story, it goes to show that everyone can use a helping hand sometimes.