The MGM Springfield casino opens in about six weeks, and the company said it is hitting diversity goals for construction workers.
About a fifth of of the work (21.46 percent) on the nearly billion dollar resort has been completed by racial or ethnic minorities, well ahead of ahead of the goal of 15.30 percent set before work began. That's according to numbers MGM released Monday at a gaming commission hearing in Springfield.
The company said it's also exceeded goals for women and veterans. The goal was to have 6.9 percent of the work performed by women. As of the end of June, it was 8.59 percent. Veterans accounted for 8.93 percent of the work hours, just ahead of the 8 percent benchmark.
Chelan Brown, who is helping to oversee diversity for the Springfield casino project, said labor unions have been instrumental in creating a diverse construction team.
"They came on board ready and more than willing to help us with the diversity goals, figure out how we were going to reach those diversity goals [and] open up their programs to let more diverse people in," Brown said. "On the other side of that equation, [we worked] very hard with the community to get the community to identify people who would be willing to go into the unions."
With construction nearly complete, Brown said MGM is looking to refer construction workers to others who are building in the area.
"We're looking to share all the diverse individuals that we helped get into the union," Brown said. "We have a long list of those people and we're willing to share that list with other local developers looking to employ people in their construction workforce."
The casino is scheduled to open August 24.