MGM Resorts Diversity Initiative Marks 15th Anniversary
By Jim Murren
This year, MGM Resorts International celebrates the 15th anniversary of the adoption of our Diversity Initiative. It was groundbreaking at the time, and has proven to be a source of collectivism among our employees, a point of competitive differentiation, and a value proposition for the millions of guests who visit us yearly from around the globe.
During the past 15 years, we have focused not only on diversifying our workforce, but also have worked hard to establish and strengthen relationships within our communities.
One way that we do that is by sponsoring cultural and educational activities such as Las Vegas’ annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade. For the past 33 years, it’s been an important local event honoring Dr. King’s memory and teachings. Every year on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, thousands of people line a street in Downtown Las Vegas to commemorate his legacy of promoting equal and human rights.
MGM Resorts shares Dr. King’s dream of a world where every American, and every human being, has equal freedom to pursue life, liberty and happiness. While we make special note of that during Black History Month, we realize that Dr. King’s philosophy must be a core value practiced year-round. The United States, as a country, has made great strides in the 51 years since the Civil Rights Act became law. But there is more work to be done.
Corporate America can lead the way in advancing civil rights, especially by forging strong bonds within communities and establishing best practices in diversity and inclusion.
Diversity is at the core of our culture. We train thousands of employees every year in the importance of respecting and embracing our differences. Over the past decade, MGM Resorts has spent – invested – more than $3 billion with women- and minority-owned businesses to support our resort operations and construction. And we, as a company, are always open to new partnerships. Last year, during a visit to Springfield, Mass., a community where MGM Resorts is expanding, our executives held meetings with the local branch of the NAACP and invited women and minority business owners to talk about potential opportunities.
Consistent with Dr. King’s dream, we’re also investing in future generations. The company has created training and educational programs, such as our Summer Youth Jobs program, that seek to help at-risk students graduate from high school and build careers in the industry.
In 2014, we partnered with local schools to provide job-shadowing experiences for students. More than 100 kids, many of them minorities, descended on MGM Resorts properties and paired up with our employees. They were given behind-the-scenes access to jobs that many of them had never even considered as potential careers.
Please join us in honoring Dr. King’s historic legacy and upholding the ideals he so boldly fought for.