MGM is ramping up its plans to hire thousands of people to work in the $960 million resort casino complex that is scheduled to open in western Massachusetts next fall.
MGM earlier this month opened a career center in downtown Springfield as a one-stop shop for job seekers. Located in rented space in a building on East Columbus Ave. adjacent to where the casino is under construction, the center has a 20-seat computer lab, interview rooms, and an on-site office staffed by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to help with the casino employee licensing process.
Mike Mathis, president of MGM Springfield, said in a statement that the career center will be “the hub of our hiring activity.”
The career center is open 1-4 p.m., Monday-Friday, through the end of the year and hours will be expanded after January 1st.
MGM has pledged to hire 3,000 people to work in the entertainment complex, which includes a hotel, 125,000 square feet of gaming space, retail stores, restaurants, a multi-screen movie theater, a bowling alley, and an outdoor ice-skating rink in the winter months.
The company’s state gaming license requires that 35 percent of the workforce come from the city of Springfield and 90 percent from the region. Mathis, in an interview earlier this year, said he was confident the goals will be met.
" A big part of our plan is local partnerships," said Mathis. " We can access different groups locally, understand their needs, and target the right jobs for them."
Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby said the casino industry regulators will keep close tabs on hiring at the new casino.
" At the casino we have already opened in Plainville over in eastern Massachusetts, they hired almost half of their workforce from the ranks of the unemployed and underemployed and we hope MGM will target that audience as well," said Crosby. " It is how they are going to recruit and who they are going to recruit more than the total number of jobs."
There are over 250 job descriptions currently online, according to MGM. People can use the SkillSmart portal to create a profile, match their current experience to the available jobs, and find links to appropriate college courses.
Next month, details will be announced for a gaming school training program in Springfield run by the Massachusetts Casino Career Training Institute, which is a joint venture of Springfield Technical Community College and Holyoke Community College.
MGM plans to have more table games in the Springfield casino than initially planned because of the rise in popularity of these games among millennials, according to Mathis.
A new culinary arts training center developed by HCC and MGM is scheduled to open soon in downtown Holyoke.