The Massachusetts Gaming Commission approves grants to support Workforce Development Pilot Program

On June 28, 2017, members of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) approved close to $600,000 in grants for a Workforce Development Pilot Program designed to fund gaming career pathways for local residents. The Workforce Program is a component of the 2017 Community Mitigation Fund, which was established by the Gaming Law to help entities offset costs related to the construction and operations of gaming establishments.

The Workforce Program was developed to provide interested residents in gaming regions the ability to attain academic and occupational credentials needed to work in the most in-demand occupations related to the gaming industry.  Additionally, it was established to assist the unemployed or underemployed to either get their GED or Adult Basic Education (“ABE”) which would position them to get future jobs in the casino industry or training in advance by the backfilling of jobs.

“Workforce development programs are a critical component of job creation, economic opportunity and the Commonwealth’s ability to meet gaming’s burgeoning hiring demand,” said MGC Chairman Steve Crosby. “MGC looks forward to further collaborations as we continue to work together to ensure that we are able to deliver on our legislative mandate to establish a highly-skilled and diverse Massachusetts workforce for the state’s new casino industry.”

In evaluating the Workforce Program applications, the review team analyzed the applications to the general criteria for review of all Community Mitigation Fund applications and more specific criteria developed specifically for the Workforce Development Pilot Program.

The review team made recommendations to the Commission and those recommendations were discussed in a series of public meetings. Based on those discussions, the Commission voted to award the following grants:


Entity Program Requested Amount Summary
MetroNorth Regional Employment Board Metro North Casino Careers Consortium (MNCCC) $200,000.00 The purpose of the MNCCC is to prepare and train local residents for jobs related to the construction of the Wynn Boston Harbor gaming facility and to create a system in which local residents are able to start a career pathway leading to any number of casino-related careers.
Springfield Public Ahead of the Game Program $171,833.03 The Springfield Public Schools would like to establish an initiative called “Ahead of the Game” program which will target low-skill, low-income adults, interested in pursuing long term careers with MGM Springfield.  The Ahead of the Game program will focus on individuals looking to obtain their adult basic education (ABE) or GED, in order to pursue higher education.  The goal of this program will be to prepare low-income adults for enrollment into post-secondary workforce training programs relevant to the needs of MGM Springfield.
Springfield Tech Hampden Prep $200,000.00

Springfield Technical Community College (STCC), in collaboration with Holyoke Community College (HCC) proposes to develop and implement an innovative High School Equivalency (HSE) and workforce readiness program, Hampden Prep.

The overarching goal of Hampden Prep is to accelerate ABE, HiSET prep and developmental programs for Hampden County residents and to provide non-traditional students the supports needed to complete postsecondary credentials in areas recognized by employers in the Springfield labor market.



Visit the Community Mitigation Fund page on to learn more about the 2017 applications and guidelines.




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