(Photo Courtesy of Portia Wiggins, R&R Resources)
The Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation and Prince George’s Community College partnered with MGM Resorts to provide workforce development training to students and job seekers.
On behalf of MGM National Harbor, a casino set to open in the second half of 2016 in Prince George’s County, a $100,000 check was presented to Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) President Jim Coleman and Prince George’s Community College President Dr. Charlene Dukes on Aug. 17. The money will fund a scholarship program for eligible county residents to take a Hospitality Express Course to prepare them for jobs in the hospitality industry.
“When we came to Prince George’s County, one of the commitments we made was to hire 40-50 percent of our employees from Prince George’s County,” MGM Vice President of Human Resources Logan Gaskill told the AFRO. “Prince George’s Community College already has a great hospitality program and is well respected in the area, so it just made sense that they would be an organization we would partner with.”
According to a press release, the scholarship program is for 13 weeks consisting of five classes and five certifications. Gaskill said MGM has similar workforce partnerships in Las Vegas that provide people for hospitality jobs and that it is going “great.”
The scholarship will provide training to residents interested in employment as a server, host, dealer, and many more opportunities at the new MGM Resort at National Harbor.
“We have 4,600 jobs available that are up for grabs people need to apply for,” Coleman told the AFRO. “These are jobs that are going to help you to get the higher paying jobs. You will be with an organization that has multiple locations throughout the world, where you will have a long-term career.”
According to Jeffrey Swilley, deputy director for the development corporation, eligibility for the program is two-fold.
He said interested participants will have to first qualify with the community college. And, if additional funding is needed for eligible participants, the Workforce Development Services could assist with providing additional financial assistance if federal requirements, including income eligibility and residency, are met.
However, Swilley said all interested persons must complete the first step which is taking an assessment to determine if hospitality jobs would be the appropriate career choice for that individual. The assessment can be found on the MGM website.
Regardless of the outcome, he said the Prince George’s One Stop Career Centers are available to help residents find employment opportunities, receive job placement assistance, and receive skills training and occupational skills training in other industry sectors.
For more information on the program, visit http://www.pgcc.edu/Hospitality_Express_Training_Program/
Washington D.C. Editor LaTrina Antoine contributed to this article.