MassGaming to establish ‘Access and Opportunity’ committee, Initiative created to support state’s commitment to ensuring workforce and vendor diversity
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) is pleased to announce a new initiative developed to support its ongoing commitment to achieve diversity within the Commonwealth’s new expanded gaming industry. On December 4, 2014, the Commission voted unanimously (5-0) to establish an ‘Access and Opportunity’ Committee with a primary function of monitoring diversity in the construction workforce and supplier base of the state’s resort-casino licensees. The committee will be tasked with furthering the diversity goals as outlined in the Gaming Act, and also making related recommendations to the Commission and/or licensees.
“The mandate from the statute is clear,” said MGC Chairman Steve Crosby. “Ensuring a diverse workforce and supplier base is a top priority. I am confident that this is a critical step in achieving our goals.”
“The Policy Group on Tradeswomen’s Issues is very excited that the Massachusetts Gaming Commission has adopted a strong affirmative position for hiring women for the Casinos in union construction,” said Susan Moir, UMass Labor Resource Center & Policy Group on Tradeswomen’s Issues. “After six years of hard work developing best practices for increasing the number of women in construction jobs, this is a great milestone, and we look forward to continuing to work with the Commission.”
“Bringing more women and people of color into union construction not only strengthens Massachusetts by moving more families out of poverty but also strengthens the industry by building a more diverse workforce,” said Elizabeth Skidmore, New England Regional Council of Carpenters & Policy Group on Tradeswomen’s Issues.
The Committee will have statewide representation and be comprised of participants with expertise in labor, workforce development and supplier diversity. Licensees are also expected to have representation on the Committee. The duties and responsibilities of the Committee include, but are not limited to:
- Recommending actions to increase the level of minority business enterprise, veteran business enterprise and women business enterprise participation as subcontractors.
- Recommending actions to increase the number and percentage of women, minority individuals and veterans participating as labor on the construction projects.
- Participating in public forums and other educational and/or outreach activities designed to inform the general public about the construction projects as determined by the Commission.
- Reviewing detailed statistical reports on the number, gender, race, and veteran status of individuals by job classifications hired to perform labor as part of the construction of the gaming establishment and related infrastructure, and a comparison of this report with the goals established by the gaming licensee and commission pursuant to the statute.
- Reviewing reports describing the number of contracts, total dollar amounts contracted with and actually paid to minority business enterprises, women business enterprises and veteran business enterprises for design and construction of the gaming establishment and related infrastructure, and the total number and value of all subcontracts awarded to a minority, women and veteran owned business, and a comparison of these reports with the goals established by the gaming licensee and commission pursuant to the statute.
MGC will soon establish the Committee’s membership. Lastly, it is anticipated that the Committee will hold public meetings every other month.