Colonial Downs Group announced today that it will increase the minimum wage at all company facilities statewide to $15 per hour, an amount double the current state minimum wage, starting in January. This impacts employees at Rosie's historical horse racing satellite wagering facilities in Richmond, Hampton, Vinton and New Kent County, and all future facilities the company may open in the years ahead. In addition, the company announced it will raise its minimum wage for tipped positions to $9 an hour, an amount 4x greater than the state minimum wage of $2.13.
Speaking about the decision, Aaron Gomes, Chief Operating Officer of the Colonial Downs Group, stated, “Over the past year we have hired more than 1,000 new employees at our Rosie's facilities across the Commonwealth. These men and women are tremendous individuals who, through their hard work and hospitality, have made Rosie's true entertainment destinations. Our employees are the reason for our success, and we know this. Now, we are dedicated to ensuring that their hard work and commitment to our customers is rewarded, and that starts with their financial compensation. We hope that today's announcement will lead to an even happier holiday season for our employees and their families. Virginia is our home, and we have been incredibly heartened by the enthusiastic reception we have received since we opened the doors at our first facility in New Kent County this past April. We look forward to providing world class entertainment and fun in the years ahead at all of our Rosie's facilities, and the job creation and tax revenue that comes with it, and to continuing to be a corporate partner Virginians can count on.”
In Richmond, the city's Office of Community Wealth Building partnered with Rosie's to assist with recruitment for over 300 jobs at the company's Midlothian Turnpike location, and Rosie's has been committed to hiring City of Richmond residents living in poverty. Speaking about that partnership and today's announcement, Richmond Mayor Levar M. Stoney noted, “A living wage creates a pathway out of poverty and toward family stability and security. We are extremely pleased that Rosie's is furthering its commitment to the City of Richmond by helping residents secure jobs at wages that will help support their families and strengthen our community.”
Delegate Betsy Carr (D-Richmond) remarked, “This decision by Rosie's is a positive one for all the employees and families that will be impacted. I am encouraged by the company's commitment to doing right by the men and women who work there, and by the Commonwealth they call home. This is the kind of proactive corporate effort that makes Virginia stronger.”
Richmond Councilman Michael Jones commented, “This is a great day for workers on the Southside of Richmond. As we talk about uplifting communities and rebuilding neighborhoods, it all starts with good jobs. Every adult desires to provide for themselves and their families. Raising the minimum wage does that. It helps to combat crime but more importantly it provides hope for a better tomorrow. One of my campaign promises was to bring resources and opportunities to the Southside; this delivers on that pledge. I am happy with the partnership that we have with Rosie's/Colonial Downs. We need more businesses to step up and stop putting profits over people.”
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