MGM National Harbor Supports Black Businesses

by: Melanie R. Duncan Special to The AFRO
/ (Photo courtesy of Mgmnationalharbor.com) /
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An artists’ rendering of the MGM National Harbor casino and resort. (Photo courtesy of Mgmnationalharbor.com)

MGM National Harbor casino and resort, currently under construction in Prince George’s County, Maryland, has surpassed its goal of employing minority participation.

“It isn’t something were just doing because we decided to open a property in Prince George’s County,” said Logan Gaskill, vice president of Human Resources at MGM National Harbor, told AFRO. “This is one of our core values… We take it very seriously, our relationship with the community here in Prince George’s County and making sure we bring just a world class resort to this area and were excited to do it.”

Currently, MGM is surpassing some of the mandated minority business participation goals established in a Community Benefits Agreement. According to a press release, there was 31 percent of Minority Business Enterprise participation, including a local and minority businesses in the bid process, 725 individuals and 751 companies were contacted through contract outreach events hosted by the upcoming casino and resort, enabling it to exceed its goal of 30 percent.

There is also 16 percent participation of Prince George’s County Based Minority Business Enterprises, exceeding the goal of 12 percent. And of the more than 96,000 total labor hours on the project, over 18,000 hours will be performed by county residents, nearly meeting the CBA goal of 20 percent for local resident construction employment, the release said.

Gaskill said MGM will be looking to extend its partnership with minority businesses further when more job opportunities become available as the summer approaches.

One minority business utilized by MGM is Lord & Mitchell, Inc., a minority-owned business based in Prince George’s County that has been assisting its clients with marketing campaigns for more than two decades.

Since 2012, the company’s President Toya Mitchell has been sharing her expertise in graphic design, promotional products and printing with MGM and is one of several minority business owners working with the casino and resort as it gears up for its newest location in National Harbor by next fall.

“They’re mandated to have a certain percentage [of minority business participation],” Mitchell said. “There are corporations that the mandate is just something that happens to be there; it’s already in their corporate culture. I believe that wholeheartedly about MGM.”

MGM was awarded a license to operate Maryland’s sixth casino in December 2013. The $1.2 billion facility will include a 23-floor, 300- room luxury hotel, a casino featuring 3,600 slots and 160 table games, a 3,000‐seat theater, 27,000 square feet of high‐end branded retail, 27,000 square feet of meeting space, 4,800 parking spaces, and restaurants from local and national chefs. Project completion is scheduled for the fall of 2016.

Bob Ross, President of the Prince George’s County Branch of the NAACP is pleased that MGM is bringing jobs and opportunities for minority-owned businesses to the county.

“These numbers are quite impressive considering the project has really just started,” he said in a statement. “They represent a very strong beginning.”

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