By Steve Tawa

PHIALDELPHIA (CBS) — Supporters of the “Market 8” casino project say it has aggressive but attainable goals of hiring African-Americans at all levels.

Several African-American leadership groups say the Market 8 project (proposed for 8th and Market Streets in center city Philadelphia) is committed to economic inclusion that meets or exceeds traditional goals.

“This project is definitely right up our alley,” said Sharmain Matlock-Turner, CEO of the Urban Affairs Coalition (third from left in photo).  “This development is projected to create thousands of jobs — construction and permanent, direct and indirect — guaranteeing significant employment opportunities for minorities, women, veterans, the disabled and, yes, even those formerly incarcerated,” she said.

Lead developer Ken Goldenberg (at lectern in photo) says the Market 8 project, which would be built on a parking lot at 8th and Market Streets, would not only transform what has become a dreary Market East corridor, but transform lives through construction and operational jobs.

“I want to make sure that the people in the African-American community and the Asian community all benefit,” Goldenberg said today.  “That’s our entire team’s goal.”

State gaming officials are considering five applicants for Philadelphia’s second casino license.