The Massachusetts Gaming Commission Announces the Release of Grant Opportunities to Expand Economic Access
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) is pleased to announce the release of grant opportunities aimed at Expanding Economic Access. MGC seeks proposals to aide in advancement of economic development within the state’s emerging casino industry as a result of the Expanded Gaming Act. The mission of the Office of Workforce, Supplier and Diversity Development is to maximize equity and inclusion for licensee employees and vendors. With a Category 2 slots-parlor operating in Plainville, Category 1 in Springfield beginning the hiring phase, and Category 1 in Everett preparing for opening in 2019, MGC aims to ensure an adequate pool of available, qualified, diverse and prepared applicants for these gaming and hospitality jobs. Proposals should enable access to these emerging casino careers and business opportunities, including those whose diverse background, wealth status and/or legal history may inadvertently impede the process.
The Commission seeks to inspire collaborative coalitions, partnerships, grassroots organizations and non-profits to aide in providing programs, outreach, and resources to achieve at least one of the following goals:
- Promote awareness of job opportunities and assist with interview/skill preparation for potential job candidates within the Host and Surrounding Communities of one of the casino properties.
- Remove road blocks for the unemployed, underemployed and/or candidates with employment challenges.
- Increase net job gain via initiatives benefiting minorities, women and veterans.
- Strategies for maximizing contracting opportunities for vendors/suppliers with the licensee
With a goal of promoting economic stimulus, including disadvantaged populations in the communities surrounding the new casinos, funding opportunities may consist of, but are not limited to:
- New programming, program additions and/or enhancements to operations or services
- Efforts increasing awareness of job or vendor opportunities, programs or services
- Training and/or workshops assisting with the process of sealing court records
- Career readiness programs for those with employment challenges and limitations
MGC intends to post a rolling application for grants that will have multiple competitive cycles over a two year period. Funding for the entire period is subject to availability. Funds awarded in the first competitive cycle must be expended by June 30, 2018, but may be eligible for additional funding during subsequent cycles. Approximately $75,000 will be available for multiple small grants in the first cycle. Grants are competitive, and awards will generally range between $10,000 and $20,000.
The Commission has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to apply for this grant opportunity. Responses are due to the Commission by March 26, 2018 at 3:00pm.
Please note, interested bidders must first register for a COMMBUYS account to apply for the grant, or submit questions regarding the RFP. To register, bidders should visit https://www.commbuys.com/bso/ and click on the blue “Register” button in the top right hand corner. A help desk is available at 617.720.3197.
Lastly, organizations interested in applying for funds will have an opportunity to ask clarifying questions about the RFR, Guidelines and Review Process and Timeline through COMMBUYS. Questions will be accepted through March 19, 2018.