PORTERVILLE, Calif. (KFSN) -- The new location of the Eagle Mountain Casino in Porterville is nearing a grand opening date.
Construction crews have been working on the casino inside and outside since the groundbreaking nearly 18 months ago.
Since then, the focus has been on hiring 500 additional staff members.
"We are going to have 30 table games, a center bar, a tap house," says Ador Cardenas. "We need servers, bartenders, guest service. We are in the hospitality industry."
Billie Brown's been with the casino for 22 years and says hiring and filling all those new jobs has been more challenging than expected.
The casino needs about 1,000 employees and started with 430 team members.
After countless job fairs for a year, they now have 618 team members and employees.
"We thought doing one a month, we would slowly bring them in, but now, it's crunch time," Brown said. "This month, we are doing three, so it's been challenging."
Brown says with so many industries hiring, people have options, and some have been demanding at times.
"People were coming in saying they wanted to work Monday through Friday 8 to 4, and I'm like, I have people who have been here for 20 years who do not work 8-4," she said.
Brown takes pride in her work and wants to remind everyone that opportunities will always be there for those who work hard.
"I started off in the company in 1996 as a custodian," she said. "I worked hard and I am now the recruiting coordinator."
Esperanza Juarez from Porterville is a mother of two and hasn't worked for five years.
She applied at Thursday's job fair and says she is optimistic about getting back in the workforce.
"I mean, it's been five years since an interview, it was scary," she said. "But just opportunity and hope."
There is no set date for a grand opening and if you'd like an opportunity to work here, there are two more job fairs this month or you can apply online.