In March, I participated in two milestone events that will change the landscape and economy of two communities in Massachusetts and Maryland.
In Maryland, MGM Resorts International celebrated the hiring of the 1,000th construction worker of MGM National Harbor, slated to open in 2016. And in Massachusetts, I participated in a ground-breaking ceremony for MGM Springfield, which is on track to open in 2017.
Both resorts will be unique and complementary to the environments in which they are being built. MGM Resorts will bring together and unite the culture, art and history of the regions, along with new commerce, new business, and new hope.
As a company, our character is not just to be in a community, but to be an integral part of it, with their hopes being our hopes, their wishes our wishes, and their futures linked with ours. I think that’s key to every successful business and organization today.
The addition of these two resorts to MGM Resorts International’s portfolio is not just a case of a company expansion. Both projects represent just how deeply Corporate Social Responsibility is engrained into the culture of the company. Without the commitment to supporting and enriching the communities in which we operate, we would not have been invited to do business in the Maryland and Massachusetts communities.
Not only will MGM Resorts create thousands of jobs in National Harbor and Springfield over the next two years, the company will also spend millions of dollars with local minority-owned businesses. Already in National Harbor, 62 local community Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) certified by either the Maryland Department of Transportation or Prince George’s County are engaged. That’s a reflection of how important diversity is to our company. In 2000, MGM Resorts International became the first company in our industry to voluntarily declare a formal diversity initiative as a matter of integrity and as a business imperative.
The premise for our declaration is a simple reality: our company is a microcosm of our world – among our employees, our guests, our business partners and our suppliers the four corners of our planet intersect. To achieve our company vision and mission – to be the recognized global leader in hospitality and entertainment – we embrace diversity and innovation to inspire excellence.
Community investment is central to our social responsibility philosophy, as our business success depends upon the sustainability of our communities as viable economic hosts with clean and healthy environments and cultural enrichment for our employees and our guests.
In Maryland, with the cooperation of the local school district and Prince George’s County, we are making a separate $4 million investment in the shuttered Addison School. After some hard work and sweat, it will become the MGM National Harbor Employment Center. Once the resort opens, it will then be turned over to the County to use as a community center.
In Springfield, MGM Resorts representatives have engaged the residents through numerous and ongoing community events. We have held fundraisers for schools, sponsored community picnics, provided culinary training to school students, helped restore residents’ homes, supported local nonprofit organizations and more.
We don’t do these things for headlines, or just to win business. We do them because they are the right thing to do. And there has never been a more important time than now for companies to lead by example when it comes to CSR.