ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey (WPVI) -- A new pilot program at the Jersey Shore is pairing college students with Atlantic City employers who need seasonal workers.
Stockton University's Atlantic City Campus launched its "Live, Work and Learn" program this summer.
About 150 undergrad students are participating.
University officials say they've talked about doing this for years, but with so many jobs unfilled right now, this seemed to be the perfect time.
Junior student Yanet Reyes works the front desk at Hard Rock Casino.
She's a health sciences major at Stockton University, and the free campus housing that comes with the job was a big perk for her.
The pilot program matches university students with available positions in Atlantic City for the summer.
Employers not only pay the students, but pay for their campus housing, too.
Officials at Hard Rock say because of lingering COVID-19 pandemic effects and the war in Ukraine, they have half the number of international student workers they usually do.
"We're hiring, typically 100 J-1 students in 2019. We're down to 50," said Bob Ellis, vice president of human resources at Hard Rock Casino. "So now we're able to supplement that labor with students from Stockton (University), which is wonderful."
With about 3,000 seasonal job openings in Atlantic City this summer, Stockton officials knew this was the time to launch.
"We knew that we had an opportunity to connect our students with the local employers, to help fill that need, as well as provide our students an opportunity to work here in Atlantic City," said Brian Jackson, chief operating officer. "I think the long-term effect of this is that students will hopefully get job offers are we want to be able to keep our talent here locally."
For students it's come with some different experiences.
"It's all new," said sophomore Destiny Craig, who had never worked in a casino.
She's now a dealer at Bally's.
"They paid for me to get my casino license," she said.
And it's not all hospitality.
AtlantiCare hired students interested in health care.
"We really felt like this is where we were supposed to be this summer," said Nashia Ara, a pre-med student.
Ara says the clinical experience she received has solidified her decision to go to med school.
University officials say they aim to gain more resources to incorporate more small employers into the program.