Commissioner Bruce Stebbins reports on the first meeting of MGC’s Access and Opportunity Committee, highlighting statewide commitment to ensuring a diverse and inclusive workforce and supplier base

The following is a message from Commissioner Bruce Stebbins:

stebbins250x250On Tuesday March 31st, Chairman Crosby, MGC Director of Workforce, Supplier and Diversity Development Jill Griffin, and I joined labor and community representatives, Veterans Services Secretary Urena, Baker Administration officials, diversity advocates and executives from our licensees –MGM Springfield and Wynn MA LLC – to discuss the strategic diversity mission of the commission’s new Access and Opportunity Committee.  This committee, which mirrors a similar committee created for the expansion of UMass Boston’s campus, will work to monitor efforts of our gaming licensees to achieve diversity in the construction workforce and supplier base and offer assistance to our licensees as they proceed with the approximate three-year construction of their resorts.  Members of the committee will get updated project monitoring reports and be alerted to the construction work ahead.  The focus is simple – to create opportunities and share best practices to recruit minorities, women and veterans as well as businesses they may own as gaming expands into Massachusetts.

Throughout the 2011 Expanded Gaming Act, numerous references are made to creating good paying jobs and business opportunities for minorities, women and veterans.  The MassGaming Access and Opportunity Committee will work to further these underlying goals of the statute and make related recommendations to the commission and our licensees.  Additionally, construction unions through project labor agreements (PLA’s) with MGM and Wynn have committed to focus on recruiting minorities and women into the respective trades.   Our licensees are also committed to reaching targeted diversity goals detailed in their applications, marketing plans and license conditions.  Both MGM Springfield and Wynn MA have stated that these goals are “floors” and not “ceilings” and both plan to surpass all targets.  This new committee will work cooperatively to help our licensees meet their goals and create new careers and business opportunities for those who seek them.

The commission’s Access and Opportunity Committee will be chaired by Ron Marlow, the new Undersecretary of Labor and Workforce Development.  Ron also chaired the committee for the UMass Boston projects so he clearly has the experience to lead this collaborative group.  During Tuesday’s meeting, he focused his remarks on communication and active involvement from all members.  The committee will have both statewide members and representatives from the Host Communities of Springfield and Everett and plans to meet monthly.  During the meeting, there was a noticeable interest from the local representatives that they are as anxious to support their counterparts in the other communities while they are focused on efforts in their own city.

As the committee’s work proceeds, we will provide updates to their activities and invite comment and participation from other stakeholders.  A great team effort will help produce the results intended by the statute and envisioned by Massachusetts residents.

To view presentations from the March 31st meeting, please visit the Meeting Archive.

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