VIDEO: Gaming Vendor Spotlight – Lamont Clemons and S-Cel-O Painting
Pablo Picasso once said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
Based on that quote, Lamont Clemons’ parents raised eight artists in Massachusetts, and that upbringing led Clemons to his role as the Executive Vice President of his family’s company, S-Cel-O Painting.
Clemons’ own career journey helped pave the way for dozens of other jobs to be created as a result of the construction of the state’s two destination-resort casinos: MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor.
Before his rise to his position at the certified minority and women business enterprise, Clemons was born and raised in the City of Springfield, and grew up with seven siblings.
“It was a race to the cereal in the morning,” Clemons said during a recent MGC public meeting in Springfield on September 26. “Fortunately, we had some parents that really instilled some incredible work ethic in us, and literally, our motto was: ‘the only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.’”
That motto paved the way for success for Clemons and his family’s 33-year-old painting company, which was contracted to handle the painting on-site during the construction of MGM Springfield. The vendor contract led to numerous jobs for dozens of people in the area, including women and minorities looking to gain experience in the field.
“Up until this point, we were doing small and medium-sized jobs,” Clemons said. “I would say up to getting the MGM job, we were, like I said, cruising pretty well, but this has absolutely changed the financial fabric of our family tree.”
The contract led to more work for S-Cel-O Painting, including more projects with MGM Springfield and new opportunities during the construction of Encore Boston Harbor.
“We’ve done now six projects for [MGM] even afterwards,” Clemons said. “Not only did they do their commitment in front, but even afterwards when they really didn’t have to work with us, they came back and worked with us directly.”
The company has helped MGM with their VIP lounge, the Plaza Bar, the hotel, and many more areas on the property, as well.
“I think Lamont and his company is a great story within the story of what casino gaming has meant to Massachusetts,” Commissioner Bruce Stebbins said. “These opportunities changing the financial fabric of your family’s future is a message that just will stay with me. It’s not only running a business, it’s being engaged in what’s going on in your community, and that’s a great asset for the City of Springfield to have and for the region and for your company to have, too.”
Commissioner Gayle Cameron praised Clemons and his company for hiring women and minorities to work on the projects, helping to improve on the MGC’s and licensee’s diversity goals.
“You were given an opportunity, but you had to do the work,” Commissioner Gayle Cameron told Clemons in Springfield. “You had to do really good work or they wouldn’t have hired you back. The other point is, now you’re giving opportunities to others. You realize the value of including women, and maybe you wouldn’t have realized until you saw the model working, you looked around and saw people who look like you, who look different than other job sites.”
Clemons also shared his story at the MGC’s recent Summit on Diversity in Construction, which coincided with the release of the Commission’s “Built to Last: Best Practices for Diversity in the Construction Industry” report.
“This story that you tell, I encourage you to continue to telling it to others,” Commissioner Enrique Zuniga told Clemons during the September 26 meeting. “The kids who may not consider a career in the trades, or because it’s a short-term commitment that can be grueling in terms of working and going to school at the same time. Just seeing what could be at the end of that road, if you will. I encourage you to do that because you speak to it very well. And that’s the pay it forward, if you will.”
Clemons mentioned how the work is just the beginning for the state and its construction industry, showcasing his optimism for the future when it comes to women and minorities in the trades.
“I can also pretty much thank you guys, the Gaming Commission in particular,” Clemons said. “I consider you guys kind of pioneers to be honest with you. Because we’ve been in the construction realm for a long time, and I’ve never seen a site with this amount of diversity and inclusion, with this amount of females on it. And you can pretty much talk to anyone on site that says the same thing.”
“I think this is a pioneering type of thing that you guys did, and hopefully you guys have set a precedent that will be carried on throughout the state, continuous on multiple jobs,” Clemons continued. “Because I think it’s going to really even out the playing field for a lot of people and really put a lot of families in a completely different and unique situation.”