Two major casinos will be opening in Massachusetts in the coming months. MGM Springfield expects to have its doors open for business this fall – and the Wynn Boston Harbor is targeting 2019.
As a result, thousands of jobs will be created, many of them specific to the gaming industry.
The state’s first school to train those workers is now open and looking for more students.
On the 9th floor of an office building in Springfield, a visitor might think they’ve just arrived at a casino. There are about a dozen gaming tables humming with activity.
But it’s not. It’s the Massachusetts Casino Career Training Institute which is a combined effort by Holyoke Community College, Springfield Technical Community College, and MGM Springfield.
Students are earning a certificate so they will be qualified to work in the gaming industry.
“Our mission is to figure out ways to train the workforce so regional employers can get the talent they need at the time they need it,” explained MCCTI Executive Director Michele Cabral.
“We need about 450 dealers to man all the tables, that is part-time and full-time. We need about 100 supervisors to supervise the dealers, and maybe about another 30 people to supervise those folks,” said Robert Westerfield, VP of Table Games for MGM.
Competitive pay and benefits got the attention of trainee Falguni Patel. “It is really important for me because my older son is going to high school, so I was looking for a job.”
After working in Atlantic City and Connecticut, Angel Rivera is happy to be back in his hometown teaching students how to run a table. “You need excellent customer services skills to get into the casino industry,” said Rivera. “You’ve got to have basic math skills as well, and you’ve got to be able to work with both hands, left and right, you can't just do one hand.”
Because the gaming industry is new to Massachusetts, Cabral says it has been challenging getting people to consider dealing as a serious career. That’s despite the potential for a decent payoff. “They’re real jobs with real money and real benefits.”
Cabral also said it’s easy to get started. “You show up in a white shirt and black pants with a really good attitude and the instructors will teach you everything you need to know.”
Officials at Wynn Boston Harbor tell Boston 25 they expect to have an announcement about training in the Boston area soon.
The Springfield program has space available and is continuing to enroll students.
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