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MGC attends Jewish Vocational Service’s Hospitality Graduation

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s division of Workforce, Supplier and Diversity Development was pleased to attend the Jewish Vocational Service’s Hospitality Graduation on June 28, 2019. JVS is among the oldest and largest providers of adult education and workforce development services in Greater Boston, serving a diverse clientele and helping people secure financial independence through educational and employment services.

The graduation ceremony included 14 diverse individuals who have successfully completed the 4-week Hospitality Training Program and will now pursue employment opportunities in Greater Boston’s growing hospitality industry; in fact, several graduates had already successfully landed jobs before the ceremony even took place.

The MGC awarded JVS with a $45,000 workforce development grant. The funding provided JVS with the opportunity to add a second training session between May and June 2019, following an initial spring course that took place in March and April 2019. During the ceremony, JVS Program Coordinator William Blackmer and Chief Program Officer Kira Khazatsky expressed appreciation for the MGC grant and emphasized its importance in preparing a growing hospitality workforce and connecting individuals with economic opportunities.

The graduating class comes from eight countries, including Albania, China, Ethiopia, Haiti, Honduras, Morocco, Nepal, and Tanzania. Across the two cycles of hospitality training, there were 28 students enrolled and a 100% completion rate.

Ten were female (36%) and 18 were male (64%), with an average age of 36 years old between the 28 graduates. A majority of the students were black (46%) and eight were Asian (29%).  Additionally, almost half of the students (46%) were unemployed when admitted to the JVS Hospitality Training program.

With Encore Boston Harbor’s opening on June 23, the hospitality industry anticipated and has experienced a significant need for prepared workers in local hotels.

Khazatsky said that more than half of the graduates had interviews scheduled for the week after the graduation ceremony with local hotels, including the Fairmont Copley Plaza, Encore Boston Harbor, Hilton Boston Back Bay, and the Westin Waterfront.

To date, 20 graduates have been placed in employment, earning an average hourly wage of $17, and have been hired at Fairmont Copley Plaza, Homewood Suites, Renaissance Boston Hotel, and Chief of Staff LLC in a wide range of positions including Room Attendant, Houseperson, Front Desk Clerk, and Cook.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission was thrilled to attend this event and wishes all the new hospitality employees success in their new careers. For more information about the program and upcoming training sessions, click here to visit the JVS website.

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