James J. Murren
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, MGM Resorts International
Excerpt from remarks to Boston College’s Chief Executives’ Club of Boston
December 5, 2013
TAKEAWAY: Jobs in Springfield
The gaming industry is part of the tourist industry. You know it to be large, but it might surprise you to realize how large it is. I think we need better lobbying maybe in Washington for people to understand this. But it is about nine percent of the global GDP. On a comparable basis, it’s larger than the auto industry by far, larger than the chemical industry.
Here in your state, in the Commonwealth of Mass., it’s well over $1 billion to your state and local revenue sources, $17 billion in travel-related annual expenditures, about 125,000 jobs just already in the Commonwealth. And we intend to add to that mix if we’re allowed to.
If we prevail in Springfield, as I deeply want to and expect to, we’re going to employ about 2,000 people to build this beautiful resort and to help revitalize downtown Springfield. And we will employ 3,000 men and women permanently once we’re open. And those are going to be good-paying jobs with great benefits. And I expect the vast, vast majority—and Springfield has first dibs, Mayor [Sarno]—to come from the Commonwealth.
There are over 400 different kinds of jobs. I employ folks from every walk of life. And it is my responsibility, and our team, to help people help themselves to get prepared for the type of jobs that we will be offering, whether it’s in technical jobs or hospitality jobs, food and beverage, IT, etc., which is why I’ve spent so much time, as the mayor knows, in Springfield, meeting with UMass and technical schools, high school presidents and principals, because I know we need to lay the groundwork now in order to have that pipeline of qualified applicants by the time we open. I’m excited about that. It’s the best part of my job.